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wi62polarbear4Paul ADKorlbucfanjcitybone Recent comment authors

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jcitybone

Thanks Mags

This was mentioned yesterday in an AOC tweet, but here’s an article explaining it. It’s a big victory for progressives who probably demanded it in exchange for supporting Pelosi as speaker. I wonder if Dore will comment on the effectiveness of AOC.

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2021/01/02/house-dems-signal-bolder-action-by-weakening-self-imposed-austerity-rules/

There are many ways in which Democrats limit their effectiveness by holding themselves to standards that Republicans long ago abandoned. One of the most frustrating of these is the so-called PAYGO rules dictating that any potential spending must be offset by equivalent budget-balancing revenue enhancements.

After Reagan exploded budget deficits with guns and butter policies, hypocritical Republicans and deficit-obsessed Democrats implemented statutory PAYGO rules during the Clinton years. Then, almost magically, they expired in 2002, at which point the George W. Bush failed to reimplement them before once again passing budget-busting tax cuts and the famous Medicare “fix.” President Obama signed statutory PAYGO rules into law in 2010, though the law allowed for a wide variety of exemptions.

As if driven by masochism or perpetual fear of bad faith attacks, Democrats in the House have continued to maintain a standing rule committing themselves balanced budget legislating. This despite that fact that Republicans hold themselves to no such constraints and the fact that both interest rates and inflation remain extremely low, while the need for infrastructure, health and social spending remains dire.

Finally, House Dems–under pressure from their more progressive members like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez–are set to loosen those PAYGO rules for bills relating to COVID and climate change:

The new rules package for the 117th Congress unveiled by House Democrats on Friday would grant a sweeping new exemption from deficit controls for legislation related to the coronavirus pandemic or efforts to curb climate change.

The text of the resolution, which House leaders expect to take up Monday, would provide House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., broad authority to “adjust” cost estimates for certain bills so that their budgetary impacts don’t count as increasing deficits under House rules.

In practice, the new section means legislation that fits within the two broad new categories doesn’t need to comply with appropriations limits affecting discretionary programs, or pay-as-you-go rules for measures affecting tax revenues and “direct spending,” otherwise known as mandatory programs.

There is no reason, frankly, for any of the PAYGO rules to still exist. Any voter who is both obsessed with deficits and still believes against all evidence that Democrats are chiefly responsible for them is lost to the party to begin with. And in any case Democrats cannot properly address the country’s challenges while meeting PAYGO rules, given that Republicans are intransigent on tax increases for the wealthy. It’s far easier to get Republicans to trade spending priorities than to get them on the bad side of their donors and supply-side ideology.

But the good part is that not only are COVID relief and climate change two of the most crucial policy needs in the coming year (alongside healthcare), a wide variety of spending programs can fit under that rubric:

But the new exemptions are so broad that it’s possible wide swaths of a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package similar to one that passed the House over the summer could be spared, for instance. That measure contained new spending and tax incentives for clean energy programs and financing, water and wastewater infrastructure and more.

The new language stipulates that “measures to prevent, prepare for, or respond to economic, environmental, or public health consequences resulting from climate change” wouldn’t be considered deficit-spending that requires offsets.

The same language applies to measures intended to address the “COVID-19 pandemic.” That could include much of the initiatives contained in earlier House Democratic relief packages that ranged in size from $2.4 trillion to $3.4 trillion in increased deficits.

Of course, all of it will only amount to message bills if Democrats fail to take the Senate as a result of the upcoming Georgia elections. But even at that, a message bill delivering clear and unambiguous popular priorities will be better than the alternative.

It’s not just a victory for progressive power in the House, but also an acknowledgement even among more long-established players that deficit fears have largely been overblown in decades past, and more importantly that there cannot continue to be one set of rules for Democrats in power, and another for Republicans. If Republicans can drive up deficits by giving rich people tax breaks to buy more yachts, Democrats must be able to increase spending to save lives and the planet itself.

jcitybone

orlbucfan

Wonder if Pelousy and her minions took a real serious look at the House results in 2020? DINOs/Blue Dogs got creamed, and Progressives did not.

Paul ADK

They don’t care about people, or votes, really. All they care about is keeping the donor class happy. And that means phony liberals, all the way around. And if a conservative loses, to a Republican? That’s just swell. The donor class still gets what they want.

jcitybone

polarbear4

great news. next get rid of it.

jcitybone

Many more people blame Republicans/Trump 62% than Dems 32%.

https://www.newsweek.com/62-percent-americans-blame-gop-trump-2k-stimulus-checks-stalemate-poll-1558507

National polling data from Data for Progress, a progressive think tank, released Friday from among 1,166 likely voters found that 47 percent blame Republicans in Congress and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell specifically—while just 15 percent blame Trump for not supporting the $600 to $2,000 direct payment increase earlier.

About one-third of Americans surveyed (32 percent) said they blame congressional Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for failing to push the $2,000 check legislation through both chambers.

The same polling center released data that found 81 percent of likely voters prefer $2,000 checks over $600, with just more than half hoping for a Democratic-controlled Senate following the January 5 Georgia runoff election.

jcitybone

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/02/politics/biden-administration-sunrise-movement-climate/index.html

The Sunrise Movement, a youth-led climate activist group, has quickly announced itself as one of the most influential progressive forces in the formative days of President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration.

As Biden builds out his White House senior staff and Cabinet, the climate movement has notched a series of high-profile victories, one of the few divisions of the Democratic left to successfully embed a number of its top allies — and ideas — into the new government’s upper echelons. But the promise of today, before Biden has even taken office, will soon be met by the grinding realities of governing in divided Washington.

But Sunrise’s young leaders say that, after two years of pitched battles across the country, they are prepared for the fights to come.
Biden has already nominated movement favorite Deb Haaland, a Democratic congresswoman from New Mexico, to lead the Interior Department and created a high-level White House climate shop, with former Environmental Protection Agency head Gina McCarthy and former Secretary of State John Kerry in top roles. Together, with willing partners in Biden’s inner circle, Sunrise and allied organizations have helped craft the structures — at least on paper — that could position the administration to pursue audacious goals to meaningfully combat climate change in the coming years.

Earlier this year, the organization launched an all-out defense of Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, a co-author with New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the Green New Deal resolution, against a Democratic primary challenge from Rep. Joe Kennedy III this summer. Its successful marshalling of progressive energy behind Markey, in what most viewed as an uphill fight to win renomination, underscored the potency of the group’s political operation — and projected a sense among the Washington elite of the outsiders having a growing handle on the inside game.

“Most people just see us as the agitators who are never happy, who are never really going to back anyone, who are just constantly throwing stones but not willing to go to bat for any political leader, besides maybe AOC,” executive director Varshini Prakash told CNN. The Markey campaign “was an opportunity to show that we are willing to back you if you back us, and that we are willing to throw down if you are willing to take the risks to your friendships, your image or whatever it is that you’re worried about.”

Still, there are conflicts up ahead.

Sunrise is trying to pull off a balancing act, of keeping one foot inside the halls of power and another with its activist ranks on the streets, that grassroots organizations often tout but rarely accomplish.

“It’s an uncomfortable position. It’s really weird and personally difficult,” Prakash said. “But it is absolutely possible and, I think, absolutely necessary to have both of them.”

The first clash could come in the opening days and weeks of the Biden presidency, when the administration and Democrats in Congress craft and begin negotiations with Republicans on what he has promised will be a transformative stimulus bill. This summer, Prakash told CNN she believed that “if the first leg of this is a massive infrastructure and jobs plan to reboot the economy and climate isn’t a central pillar of that, we’re totally screwed.”

Asked last week if she still believed this coming legislation could be the climate movement’s first and last best shot to secure the level of green investment activists believe is necessary to alter the trajectory of the crisis.

The answer, Prakash said, was complicated.

The uncertainty surrounding control of the Senate, where Democrats need to sweep a pair of runoff elections next week to win a majority, had created additional “murkiness” around Sunrise’s plan of action. The details of the stimulus bill will be important, she said, “but we can’t bank on Congress to legislate and have that be the be-all-end-all for climate policy in 2021 or in the Biden administration.”

Biden’s willingness to exert his authority and the administration’s commitment to pushing all the levers of power could end up being decisive.

“There is a ton that Biden can do. And as we’ve seen, movements are behind him in utilizing the full power of the executive branch,” Prakash said. “It is a by any means necessary kind of approach.”

jcitybone

For PB

https://www.dcreport.org/2020/12/31/ess-voting-systems-a-friend-to-republicans/

After initially focusing on the surprisingly lopsided results of the senatorial election in Kentucky, DCReport broadened our scope to look at the electronic vote-counting software and electronic voting systems that we rely on to tally our votes. This prompted us to raise questions about Electronic Systems & Software (ES&S), America’s largest voting machine company. What we found was a revolving door between government officials and ES&S.

Voting results in three states that saw surprising majorities by vulnerable incumbent Republican senators—Maine, North Carolina and South Carolina—were almost all tabulated on ES&S machines.

Trump and his inept legal team barely have mentioned ES&S, focusing almost exclusively on competitor Dominion Voting Systems.

Team Trump has been so vigorous in going after Dominion that it prompted us to look into how ES&S operates. What we have found so far is far from comforting.

Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sydney Powell and Fox hosts have been making such bold and naked claims against the ES&S competitors, without any substance or evidence, that Fox News, NewsMax and OAN have all been threatened with litigation unless they fully retract their claims and correct a number of egregious factual errors.

Team Trump has been so vigorous in going after Dominion that it prompted us to look into how ES&S operates. What we have found so far is far from comforting.

Owned by a private equity firm, ES&S has been elusive about identifying the people in its ownership.

A number of ES&S executives and lobbyists have ties to top GOP election officials and politicians.

The ES&S executive in charge of the security previously worked in the Trump administration as a government executive at Health and Human Services before leaving under a cloud.

Forty of the 50 states use ES&S to cast and count some of their votes.

Of the 25 states Trump won, all but 3 either partially or fully relied on ES&S machines. The states where Trump won that didn’t use ES&S machines were Oklahoma, Louisiana and Alaska.

polarbear4

thanks, jcb! good on them for getting looking into things and writing about it. my only argument with them so far is that they think the new machines are great bc they have paper ballot.

afaik, from jenny cohn, et al, those machines could even be worse because it’s a barcode on a paper ballot and you can’t tell what the vote is unless you have another type of computer, a scammer, er, scanner.

think i’ll still share on FB just to maybe nudge some noggins.

jcitybone

https://nativenewsonline.net/currents/supaman-to-take-part-in-online-powwow-to-mobilize-native-vote-in-georgia

Tuesday’s vote to decide two Senate races will decide whether the Democrats or Republicans will control the United States Senate in 117th Congress. It will decide whether Sen. Mitch McConnel or Sen. Chuck Schumer will lead the Senate.

With so much at stake, Four Directions Vote, a national American Indian voting rights organization, has teamed up with Civic Georgia, the Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe to host the Native Artist Powwow to Get Out the Indigenous Vote in Georgia.

“Four Directions Vote is currently focusing on the two-seat Georgia senate runoff and empowering Native voters in the state during this pivotal election. With an estimated 40,000 Native registered voters in Georgia, the Native vote in Georgia can have the tremendous impact in this runoff election that it did in Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico in the presidential contest in November,” Semans says.

The online event will stream live Sunday January 3rd at 5:00pm EST/2:00pmPST.

This 45 minute streaming event has an exciting line-up:

award-winning performance artist Supaman @supamanhiphop

Indigenous kitchen expert Chef Sean Sherman @siouxchef

Yoga teacher and Jingle Dancer Acosia Red Elk @powwowyoga_thepractice

For those unfamiliar, you can listen to Supaman’s acclaimed new hip-hop album here. According to his website, as a member of the Apsaalooke Nation, Supaman makes his home on the Crow reservation in Montana. Supaman is a Native American dancer and innovative hip-hop artist who has “dedicated his life to empowering and spreading a message of hope, pride and resilience through his original art form.”

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾

Paul ADK

Bottom line? The GOP Senate didn’t pass the extended benefit because the GOP Senate didn’t want to, and they think they didn’t have to. I have to wonder if the fix isn’t in on the GA runoffs…

orlbucfan

T and R, mags!! ☮️😊👍 GOPukes never stop being azzholes. Natural law. 💩

eve
eve

Joseph Stieglitz appearing on Democracy Now this past week – in response to Amy Goodman’s question about Bernie’s reported “wish” to be Labor Secretary- said that he thinks we need Bernie in the Senate….

I’m thinking that too…….

jcitybone

Definitely. Even better if the GA Dems win and Bernie takes over Budget.

humphrey

I have been quiet lately. I think that I have my voice back 🤔

polarbear4

Thank you! Missed it! been looking for a good tweet.

humphrey

Worth a view.👏👇

orlbucfan

humphrey, I commented on an earlier OT that Carter is smart and shrewd. He is building major state recognition. Even if he doesn’t win in 2 years, he will be poised to win in 2024. John Fetterman in PA is following a similar pattern.😊

humphrey

humphrey

humphrey

Joe’s cabinet choices are a pure as freshly fallen snow!🤔🙄🤦‍♂️🤦‍♀️

humphrey

humphrey

humphrey

humphrey

It is past time to remove the democratic leadership!

humphrey

humphrey

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

Yay.

humphrey

orlbucfan

He better not quit.