Category Archives: GOP War On…

Dear Nancy Pelosi: take away the GOP’s favorite toy to win in November

The top three Democratic leaders in the House are in their late 70s. Minority leader Nancy Pelosi is 77 years old, Democratic whip Steny Hoyer is 78 and assistant minority leader Jim Clyburn is 77 years old. The Democratic Party has an age problem. On the Senate side, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is 66.

The current Democratic top contenders for 2020 are Vice President Joe Biden, 75, Bernie Sanders, 76, and Elizabeth Warren, 69.

Miles Mogulescu snarkily, but accurately noted at the Huffington Post, Democratic Leadership Looks Like Old Soviet Politburo:

What does a professional sports team do after 6 straight losing seasons? Among other things, it usually fires the coach and looks for new blood, new leadership, and new strategies.

But not if you’re the minority House and Senate democratic leadership… Or the Politburo of the Soviet Communist Party shortly before the collapse of communism.

Instead, the failed, and increasingly geriatric leadership holds onto its fading power with increasing tenacity.

I’m sorry, but NO. It’s time to thank them for their years of dedicated service to their country and give them their gold watch and retirement party. To paraphrase President John F. Kennedy, it is “time to pass the torch to a new generation” of Democratic leadership in the Congress.

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The alt-right is coming to Washington, D.C. this weekend in front of the White House. What could possibly go wrong?

This past weekend we got a preview of what is to come in Washington, D.C. this weekend on the one year anniversary of the deadly alt-right “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville last year.

Four people were arrested late Saturday as scores of right-wing and anti-fascist demonstrators squared off in Portland, Oregon, where four people were injured in similar rallies on June 30. Right-wing protesters and opponents square off in Portland:

Police tried to keep the two sides apart as protesters chanted and hurled insults at each other. Authorities set up a security perimeter around a waterfront park and officers frisked attendees and confiscated flag poles and other potential weapons.

Clashes after similar protests in Portland in June sent four people including a police officer to the hospital.

Among the right-wing marchers, some of whom wore body armor and carried shields, were members of the Patriot Prayer group founded by Joey Gibson, a conservative Republican who is running for the U.S. Senate in November’s midterm elections. [Will he get Donald Trump’s endorsement?]

They were opposed by [antifa] counter-protesters, some dressed in black with face masks, who shouted anti-Nazi slogans.

Vox.com reports The alt-right is coming to Washington, DC. Here’s how anti-racist groups are preparing.

Last August, hundreds of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and members of the alt-right descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, for “Unite the Right,” a rally to put the power of white nationalists on full display. A year after that event resulted in chaos and violence, groups plan to hold another “white civil rights rally” in Washington, DC.

But a broad coalition of organizers representing anti-racist, anti-fascist, and socialist groups say that when Unite the Right 2 participants arrive in DC, they will be met with significant resistance throughout the weekend.

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Debate: Should the media cover Trump rallies or not?

There is an interesting debate developing about how the media should cover demagogue Donald Trump’s “hillbilly Nuremberg rallies” (h/t Bill Maher) in which he encourages his lunatic Qanon supporters to attack the media covering his events in Stalinist terms, as “the enemy of the people.” Trump’s rally rhetoric is going to get somebody killed.

As frequently as Trump attacks the media as “fake news,” he needs the media in the room to use them as a foil for his incitements to hatred among his sycophant supporters. His supporters, in turn, are seeking their 15 minutes of fame by participating in attacks on the media, as they did last week with CNN’s Jim Acosta.

Trump is a master of manipulating the media. The media cover his rallies like people watch NASCAR racing for the crashes — they are there for the sickening event to see what crazy shit might happen. The media has allowed Trump to create a reality TV show presidency.

I caught a segment of The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell last week in which Republican strategist Mike Murphy suggested that the media stop providing coverage of these Trump rallies to deprive him of the oxygen he needs. Send just one AP pool reporter and a photographer to cover his rallies so that Trump is denied the bank of cameras and the pen of reporters that he can use as a foil, and potentially put their safety genuinely at risk.

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Federal courts reject Trump immigration policies

The Trump administration’s family separation policy — state sponsored kidnapping and child abuse — may result in making orphans of 572 children for whom the government has opted not to try to reunify with their parents, despite a court order, and instead passing the buck to the ACLU: “If you want them reunified so bad, you do it.”

The judge was not amused. Judge calls Trump administration family reunification efforts ‘unacceptable’:

The federal judge overseeing the court-ordered reunification of the 2,551 migrant children separated from their parents at the border blasted the Trump administration Friday for lacking a plan to reunify the remaining 572 children in its custody with their parents and the slow pace of progress.

In a Thursday night status report filing, the Trump administration said only 13 of the parents had been located by the American Civil Liberties Union, which U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw of the Southern District of California called “unacceptable at this point.”

The parents of 410 children are currently outside of the United States, likely having been deported before reunification, according to the court filing.

The Trump administration had proposed the ACLU take the lead in locating and identifying what the judge had called “missing parents” of children still in government custody. Sabraw said that plan was not acceptable and placed that responsibility squarely on the government.

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In 2019, #AZLeg Should Review Corporate Tax Giveaways (video)

Fair tax forum in Tucson

A standing room only crowd filled the IBEW Hall for the Stop Thief! Let’s Restore Fair Taxes Forum, hosted by PALF and PDA Tucson, with support from other unions and community groups.

#RedForEd lifted the veil from our eyes and put the issue of corporate tax giveaways front and center in the fight to restore public education funding in Arizona.

As many of you are aware, the Arizona Legislature is giving away more than $13 billion in taxes every year and using only $10 billion to run the state. It is not sound fiscal policy to use accounting gimmicks and 50 fund transfers to “balance” the budget. It is no surprise that the state owes K-12 education around $1 billion. Thanks to scheduled corporate tax cuts passed by the Tea Party*, beginning in 2011, Arizona’s corporations got to keep an extra $1 billion in 2017. These corporate tax cuts continue through 2019, even though we can’t afford them.

As a result of the anger and frustration that many Tucsonans feel about the Arizona Legislature’s performance, the Stop Thief! Let’s Restore Fair Taxes Community Forum drew a standing room only crowd of diverse participants.

The event opened with heart-felt testimonies from current high school students, who explained how school budget cuts have impacted their lives and their schools.

LD9 Rep. Randy Friese gave a detailed presentation on tax revenue and how it has been siphoned off by special interest groups and corporate tax cuts for decades. (Video here.)

LD9 Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley’s talk focused specific tax giveaway bills and the drama that swirled around the bills that passed and the ones that failed. (Video here.) Excluding any votes related to budget appropriations, all of the tax giveaway votes in the 53rd Legislature were bipartisan— with Democrats and Republicans on both sides.

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Health care is the top issue in this year’s election for everyone but lawless GOP saboteurs

Donald Trump has done everything in his power to sabotage the Affordable Care Act aka “Obamacare” out of pure spite and hatred for Barack Obama, without any regard for Americans who will be harmed by his actions.

Last month, the Trump administration announced that it would abruptly halt important Obamacare payments, leaving only two likely explanations: incompetence or sabotage. Trump’s latest move on Obamacare is incompetent — or sabotage:

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) stunned the health-care world on July 7, revealing that it would stop collecting and paying out money under the Affordable Care Act’s risk-adjustment program. The program helps level out costs among insurers participating in Obamacare marketplaces. Those with inordinately healthy — and inexpensive — customers pay to compensate those with unusually sick — and costly — customers. Without such a program, insurance companies would compete to attract only healthy customers by narrowing benefits and finding other ways to discriminate against people who need care. Insurers who were unsuccessful in deterring sick people from signing up would have to raise premiums, leading to the loss of healthier customers and a downward financial spiral. With the program in place, on the other hand, the insurers in a given market are part of a big, effective insurance pool whose risks are spread across all.

As you might imagine, Health Insurers Warn of Market Turmoil as Trump Suspends Billions in Payments:

Many insurers that enroll large numbers of unhealthy people depend on the “risk adjustment” payments, which are intended to reduce the incentives for insurers to seek out healthy consumers and shun those with chronic illnesses and other pre-existing conditions.

“Any action to stop disbursements under the risk adjustment program will significantly increase 2019 premiums for millions of individuals and small-business owners, and could result in far fewer health plan choices,” said Justine G. Handelman, a senior vice president of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. “It will undermine Americans’ access to affordable care, particularly for those who need medical care the most.”

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