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So Kevin McCarthy, the Minority Leader of the House, moved on King, which gives us another chance to toss an elbow at former Speaker Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny-starver from the state of Wisconsin. Ryan was perfectly fine with having an outright white-supremacist in his caucus for more than a decade because Ryan never found the political gumption to bring the wild kingdom there under control.

Many Republicans—including Willard Romney—have now piled on as well. (Ted Cruz, whose Iowa campaign in 2016 King helped run, puffed out some nondescript squid ink over the weekend.) None of them, of course, have addressed the real facts about Steve King—namely, that he was nurtured and produced in the same conservative Republican terrarium as all the rest of them, Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy included. King bloomed more lushly and more exotically, but he’s of the same genus. Now, they’re all required to pretend that they never understood how this lethally poisonous plant sprouted in their midst. I wonder how long the delusion can last. I’ve been wondering that for three decades now.



Republicans are shocked, shocked , to learn that Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is a dyed-in-the-wool racist. Also , that snow is cold, the ocean is wet and the sky is often blue.

The clamor of GOP voices denouncing King’s latest racist eruption is more amusing than inspiring. Where have his Republican colleagues been all these years? Surely the “party of Lincoln” is aware that race has been the most divisive issue in our national history. Surely Republicans were aware of King’s toxic views, which he makes no attempt to hide. Why such an uproar now?

Perhaps King’s newly outraged critics were waiting for him to finally spell it out in language that even the “party of Trump” cannot ignore. Which he did.


Robinson hit the bullseye with that opinion.



As the government shutdown has dragged on, the Trump administration has made a series of major changes to how agencies without funding are operating, which it claims are simply an effort to make things “as painless as possible.” But as someone who helped manage the government-wide response to the 2013 shutdown, I can tell you: President Trump’s White House is selling the American people a bill of goods.

It’s natural to want to reduce the harm from a shutdown. But that’s not Trump’s goal. If it were, he would not be threatening to continue this one for months or years. Instead, he is making changes to past precedents in a one-off manner to paper over problems and help favored constituencies, all to create the political space to prolong the standoff. Trump is not concerned about making the shutdown painless for the American people — he’s concerned with making it painless for himself.



SECRET SERVICE AGENTS, TSA screeners, air-traffic controllers – and oil and gas permit processors.

As some 800,000 essential federal workers on Friday went without paychecks and people across the country clamored for the government to reopen from its ongoing shutdown, a handful of bureaucrats were among those back at work approving drilling applications for the oil and gas sector – a move that some say is illegal and possibly even criminal.

The Bureau of Land Management, which oversees energy production on federal land, has opened offices in New Mexico and on Monday plans to reopen four more offices in Wyoming to approve oil and gas drilling applications – even as other businesses that depend on access to federal public lands remained shuttered and conservation and environmental groups say their calls to bureau offices went unanswered.


Grover Norquist is creaming in his white-collar criminal pants. The government is slowly being drowned just like he pictured it. 🙁



Of course, the Democratic party isn’t a monolith. But the insurgency waged by newly elected representatives such as the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ro Khanna, and others is still in its infancy. At this stage, it isn’t going to scare capital away from the Democratic party, it’s going to make Wall Street invest more heavily to maintain its stake in it.

Men like Mark Gallogly know who their real enemy is: more than anyone else, the establishment is wary of Bernie Sanders. It seems likely that he will run for president, but he’s been dismissed as a 2020 frontrunner despite his high favorability rates, name recognition, small-donor fundraising ability, appeal to independent voters, and his team’s experience running a competitive national campaign. As 2019 goes on, that dismissal will morph into all-out war.

Wall Street isn’t afraid of corporate Democrats gaining power. It’s afraid of the Democrats who will take them on – and those, unfortunately, are few and far between.


The greedballs are short-sighted. They are not paying attention to the young people. Their blindness may end up being our blessing. Time will tell.



Opposition within the Democratic Party during primaries won’t weaken it. In fact, appealing to constituencies that have been ignored for far too long has made the party stronger. By creating a dynamic new class of lawmakers, primaries inject new policy ideas into the party and exciting new figures can engage millennials, women and people of color who don’t see enough people representing them in Congress.

These primaries also bolster the party’s technical capacity. New organizing and voter contact technology like Reach, Relay Dialer and Relay Text came out of New York’s 14th Congressional District primary and will help keep the party moving ahead of Republicans.

Democrats who might otherwise be complacent will face pressure to be accountable to the Democratic voters who elected them in the first place. Incumbents will be forced to have more town halls and debates and sponsor legislation that the Democratic base and progressive advocates care about.



For the past two years, Rep. Maxine Waters has been best known for her role as a foe of President Trump, including calling for his impeachment. Now the 80-year-old California Democrat is taking the reins of one of Congress’s most powerful committees, and attention is turning to her skills as a lawmaker.

Waters, who has served in the House since 1991, is the first African American and first woman to lead the House Financial Services Committee, giving her broad influence over the financial world — from Wall Street regulations to flood insurance.

Wall Street is nervous. The banking industry has been benefiting from deregulation efforts under Trump-appointed regulators, which could slow under pressure from Waters. She could also use her position to turn up pressure on Wells Fargo, which has admitted to various consumer abuses during the past two years, and Equifax, which had a huge data breach that compromised sensitive data of 148 million people.

Waters could also continue to be a thorn in the side of the president — who has called her an “extraordinarily low IQ person” — if she launches an investigation into Deutsche Bank, which provided hundreds of millions of dollars in loans to Trump.


High-profile freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is likely to gain a seat on the House Financial Services Committee in the coming weeks.

House Democrats are still going through their formal process to appoint committee members. The Democratic House Steering and Policy Committee, which recommends committee appointments to the Democratic caucus, has not completed its work yet.

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) serves as his state’s representative on the steering committee. A Meeks aide said that Ocasio-Cortez has expressed interest in serving on the Financial Services Committee, adding that the congressman will recommend her appointment next week.


Heidi and Claire on NBC. I’m sure they will provide much positive coverage of Bernie, Liz, and AOC! ???


And Kasich on CNN.


More from NBC


NBC News’ standards department sent an email to staffers Tuesday telling them not to directly refer to Rep. Steve King’s recent comments about white supremacy as “racist.”

“Be careful to avoid characterizing [King’s] remarks as racist,” reads the email, which two NBC News staffers shared with HuffPost. “It is ok to attribute to others as in ‘what many are calling racist’ or something like that.”

The email was sent to staffers by Susan Sullivan, a senior employee in the standards division at NBC News. In a news organization, the standards department offers guidance and issues rules about what is legally and ethically appropriate to report, and about how certain topics should be covered.



A federal judge blocked the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census, a win for critics who say the question is unnecessary and would cause fewer immigrants and minorities to respond to the decennial survey.

The Trump administration is expected to swiftly appeal the Tuesday ruling from U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman of the Southern District of New York.

Several states and activists said immigrants, fearful of volunteering their immigration status to the Trump administration, would refuse to respond. The plaintiffs in the suit ― 18 states, the District of Columbia, several cities and a handful of immigrant rights groups ― argued the Trump administration intended to drive down the response rate among those groups when it added the question.

An inaccurate census would have severe and lasting consequences. The survey is used to determine how congressional seats are allocated to the states and how roughly $675 billion in federal funds are disbursed.



Yeah but who cares, the pay is good right?




YEARS BEFORE HE was a potential 2020 presidential candidate, Beto O’Rourke was a city council member in El Paso — and a leading voice in a high-profile battle with unions representing police and firefighters.

At the height of the conflict, O’Rourke publicly mused about disbanding the police union, calling it “out of control” and lamenting his colleagues’ unwillingness to stand up to the powerful political force. A year later, he was calling for “better checks on collective bargaining in the public sector.”


Slip slidin away

Robert Reich: America Is Sliding Toward Dictatorship

We do not know yet whether Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin to win the 2016 election. What we do know so far is that Trump’s aides and campaign manager worked with Putin’s emissaries during the 2016 election, and that Putin sought to swing the election in favor of Trump.

We also know that since he was elected, Trump has done little or nothing to stop Putin from continuing to try to undermine our democracy. To the contrary, Trump has obstructed inquiries into Russian meddling, and gone out of his way to keep his communications with Putin secret, even from his own White House.

The overall pattern is clear to anyone who cares to see it. Trump’s entire presidency to date has sacrificed the means of democracy to the end of his personal power.



No Democrats will attend a lunch on Tuesday with President Trump designed to reach an agreement to end the government shutdown and fund a border wall, the White House said.

Trump had invited several moderate House Democrats to the White House in an effort to undermine Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has refused to grant Trump his demand for $5.7 billion in wall funding. But the group turned down the invitation.

It also signals that Pelosi has retained her grip over the Democratic caucus in the wall fight, despite the White House’s effort to divide the party.

At least two moderate House Democrats said they explicitly declined the White House invitation.

Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) and Lou Correa (D-Calif.), two of the co-chairs of the Blue Dog Coalition, confirmed to The Hill they will not attend the 12:30 lunch meeting.


So out of the mainstream?


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and her Republican critics have both called her proposal to dramatically increase America’s highest tax rate “radical” but a new poll released Tuesday indicates that a majority of Americans agrees with the idea.

In the latest The Hill-HarrisX survey, which was conducted Jan. 12 and 13 after the newly elected congresswoman called for the U.S. to raise its highest tax rate to 70 percent, found that a sizable majority of registered voters, 59 percent, supports the idea.

Women support the idea by a 62-38 percent margin. A majority of men back it as well, 55 percent to 45 percent. The proposal is popular in all regions of the country with a majority of Southerners backing it by a 57 to 43 percent margin. Rural voters back it as well, 56 percent to 44 percent.

Increasing the highest tax bracket to 70 percent garners a surprising amount of support among Republican voters. In the Hill-HarrisX poll, 45 percent of GOP voters say they favor it while 55 percent are opposed to it.

Independent voters who were contacted backed the tax idea by a 60 to 40 percent margin while Democratic ones favored it, 71 percent to 29 percent.





And she wasn’t alone.

“What Walker leaves out of the story,” joked Washington Post political reporter Dave Weigel, “is that the student had already made $9,999,990 on house work that year and the extra $10 pushed him into the top bracket.”

“How is it even possible that you don’t know how marginal tax rates work?” the progressive advocacy group Credo Mobile asked Walker.

And while the Patriotic Millionaires, a group wealthy individuals which advocates for higher taxes on people in their tax bracket, offered to share their resource materials to Walker so that he might better understand how the marginal rate works, their progressive allies at the Tax March also wanted to help.

“Hey Scott Walker, it’s clear that you don’t understand marginal tax rates and we can’t have you mis-informing America’s children,” the group tweeted. “Check out our newest explainer video, it will get you up to speed.” Watch:



Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, an outspoken advocate for women’s causes and electing more women to office, is entering the 2020 race for the White House herself, becoming the latest candidate to join what is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary to take on President Trump.

In an appearance Tuesday on the “Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” Ms. Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, said she was forming an exploratory committee to raise money and travel the country for her run. She is scheduled to start campaigning within days, with plans to spend the weekend in Iowa.

“I’m going to run for president of the United States because as a young mom I am going to fight for other people’s kids as hard as I would fight for my own,’’ she said.

Ms. Gillibrand has emerged as one of the most forceful critics of the Trump administration in the last two years. She has voted against nearly every significant nominee Mr. Trump has put forward, and rallied opposition to his congressional agenda. In the last two months, as she publicly considered a campaign, she has spoken repeatedly about the need to restore the “moral compass” of the nation.


Count this female liberal old wrinkle out. She’s not getting my vote.




But here in the nation’s second-largest school district, where an incredible 98 percent of UTLA voting members voted to authorize a strike last August, the issues are not limited to wages and benefits, as they were in West Virginia, Arizona and Oklahoma. “I feel like this is part of the war to keep public education public,” said Mize, a UTLA chapter chair at the NOW Academy, which is built on the former site of the Ambassador Hotel, where Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968.

Many of the striking teachers see the battle in Los Angeles as a front-line action to put an end to starvation of public school funding on one end, and corporate-fueled privatization on the other. And while that debate has been playing out in Los Angeles and across the country for years, union leaders and teachers believe this could be a last stand. “If this doesn’t work there may not be a union left,” said Mize.

Because there’s so much at stake, the battle doesn’t really end with the strike. It’s also tied up with a quietly radical proposal looming from school superintendent and former investment banker Austin Beutner, which would divide the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) into 32 “networks.” Critics call the plan a blueprint to close neighborhood schools, pour money into charters and decentralize opposition to privatization. Beutner has even brought in a consultant, Cami Anderson, who tested this model while superintendent of schools in Newark, New Jersey.

Plus, an upcoming school board special election will decide the balance of power between charter supporters and those backed by UTLA, and whether the network model has majority support to go forward. You cannot disaggregate the strike from these other issues. Union leaders see LAUSD as under attack, and are using all means at their disposal to stem the tide.










There is so much to be done, especially in the transportation/logistics sector. Thanks for sharing.


Ocasio-Cortez to join House panel overseeing financial sector

Ocasio-Cortez has been recommended by Democratic leaders for a spot on the House Financial Services Committee, a Democratic source told The Hill on Tuesday. The full roster of Democrats joining the committee is expected to be released as soon as Tuesday night.

Ocasio-Cortez told Hill.TV in November that she has expressed interest in the Financial Services panel to the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, which doles out seats on House committees. Politico reported last week that Ocasio-Cortez was “poised to win” a spot on the Financial Services panel.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, has pledged to fight against the Trump administration’s rollbacks of post-crisis bank rules. The assignment will give the influential Democratic freshman an powerful perch to push her party toward the left on critical financial issues.

Sounds like she will learn a lot. Rep Barbara Lee made this happen.


That’s true but Pelosi had to have signed off on it. This is great news.


Don’t cross Pelosi. NY wasn’t slighted when AOC was picked for Financial Services


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi exacted revenge against one of her most outspoken detractors Tuesday night, blocking Rep. Kathleen Rice from landing a seat on the high-profile House Judiciary Committee.

Pelosi lobbied for other members to join the panel over Rice, leaving the third-term New York Democrat off a list of her preferred members for the committee during a tense closed-door meeting Tuesday night, according to multiple sources. The effort came despite a full-court push from the New York delegation to secure a spot for Rice, a former prosecutor, on the panel that oversees everything from impeachment to guns to immigration.

The push by Pelosi was seen as payback by many in the room after Rice was one of the main megaphones behind a campaign to block the California Democrat from becoming speaker again.

It was also the latest slight for New York members, who were still upset that another member of their delegation, freshman Rep. Anthony Brindisi, was blocked from getting on the Armed Services Committee on Monday night.

Brindisi, one of nearly two dozen freshmen Democrats in districts won by President Donald Trump, was also a Pelosi critic on the campaign trail, vowing to oppose her for speaker. Brindisi followed through with his campaign pledge, voting for former Vice President Joe Biden earlier this month instead.

Brindisi being blocked from the Armed Services committee angered some of his fellow New Yorkers, according to Democratic sources, but not enough to force the issue since he was a freshmen. Still, the New York delegation held a late-night conference call Monday night and vowed to push harder for Rice when the Steering Committee, which oversees committee assignments, reconvened Tuesday night.



Two other recently elected progressive Democrats, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Katie Porter of California, are also likely to join the panel, said the people said, who requested anonymity because the names of the new members have not yet been announced.

Tulsi Gabbard, a lawmaker from Hawaii who says she plans to run for president in 2020, is also poised to join, the people said.



When it comes to many of the biggest policy issues facing the country today, O’Rourke’s default stance is to call for a debate — even on issues related to the border and immigration, which he has heavily emphasized in videos posted to Facebook and Instagram over the past month.

O’Rourke’s approach reflects how he is likely to handle issues should he launch a presidential campaign. Beyond a few mainstream Democratic stances — including closing private immigration prisons, allowing undocumented immigrants to become citizens and modernizing the work visa system — O’Rourke insists the thorny immigration answers will come from everyday Americans. It’s an approach that puts off specifics that might define him or narrow his appeal in a presidential race — but O’Rourke says he is being open-minded, as he wishes more politicians would be.

On other issues, his approach was similar.

When asked whether he agrees with Trump’s plan to quickly withdraw troops from Syria, O’Rourke said he would like to see “a debate, a discussion, a national conversation about why we’re there, why we fight, why we sacrifice the lives of American service members, why we’re willing to take the lives of others” in all the countries where the U.S. is involved.

“There may be a very good reason to do it. I don’t necessarily understand — and I’ve been a member of Congress for six years,” O’Rourke said. “We haven’t had a meaningful discussion about these wars since 2003.”

Asked about the “Green New Deal” being crafted by Democrats to dramatically curb climate change emissions and heavily invest in clean-energy jobs and infrastructure, he praised it as a “bold” start that avoided “wishy-washy change.”

The details are apt to change, he said, adding, “But, thank God the work has been done to articulate the goal, the vision, the means to achieve it, and that’s a perfect point from which to start a conversation.”



It is a nice testimony.





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