HomeUncategorized3/10 News Roundup & Open Thread
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T and R, LD!! ☮️😊👍


Poverty and extreme poverty in Latin America reached levels in 2020 that had not been seen in the last 12 and 20 years, respectively, while the indices of inequality in the region worsened along with employment and labour participation rates, among women above all, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and despite the emergency social protection measures that countries have adopted to halt this phenomenon, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) reported today.


Racist POS


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday sharply criticized a planned $5 billion fund for debt repayment targeting disadvantaged farmers in the COVID-19 stimulus package set to be passed by the House this week, calling it “reparations.”

Speaking on Fox News, Graham characterized the fund as part of a Democratic “wish list” that passed despite Republican opposition as part of the $1.9 trillion package approved by the Senate over the weekend.

“Let me give you an example of something that really bothers me. In this bill, if you’re a farmer, your loan will be forgiven up to 120 percent of your loan … if you’re socially disadvantaged, if you’re African American, some other minority. But if you’re [a] white person, if you’re a white woman, no forgiveness. That’s reparations. What does that have to do with COVID?” he asked.


Lindsey Graham has claimed that unaccompanied migrant children could become the “terrorists [of] tomorrow”, during a unhinged rant on Fox News.

Trump-ally Senator Graham said an increase in unaccompanied minors arriving at the US-Mexico border wall, where figures have tripled in recent weeks, would turn into a “national security crisis”.


Another Republican POS


Republican Senator Mike Lee blasted a voting rights bill that seeks to reshape the nation’s electoral system by expanding automatic voter registration and restricting partisan gerrymandering as legislation “written in hell by the devil himself”.

Speaking with Fox News’ conservative morning show, the Utah lawmaker said he disagreed “with every single word” in the For the People Act, also known as HR1, introduced in 2019 after Democrats took control of the House. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had previously blocked the bill from receiving a vote under the Republican-controlled Senate, until Democrats won a majority in 2020.



Biden’s infrastructure relief package will likely be met with mixed reactions from both sides of the aisle, with its key tenet of addressing climate change expected to cause the most friction. While lawmakers including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have long championed sweeping legislation to address sustainability issues such as environmental racism, Republicans remain more skeptical.

Graves said in a statement that “a highway bill cannot grow into a multi-trillion dollar catch-all bill, or it will lose Republican support… Republicans won’t support another Green New Deal disguising itself as a transportation bill.”

If Biden can’t drum up bipartisan support for his bill, Democrats would have to use the budget reconciliation process to pass the bill with a simple majority and no filibuster. While Biden has vowed to push for bipartisan cooperation, Senate Democrats already resorted to using the rule to pass his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) told Axios that he would help block Biden’s infrastructure package if Republicans aren’t happy with it, adding that he will support tax increases to help pay for the plan. He also said he believes he will be able to use his position as Energy Committee chairman to sway Republicans’ stances on climate change issues.

“I’m not going to do it through reconciliation.” Manchin said. “I am not going to get on a bill that cuts them out completely before we start trying.”


Is there a West Virginian out there who sees this, and thinks Manchin is doing what he was elected to do? A non-Republican West Virginian?



President Biden’s about-face on austerity economics hasn’t gone unnoticed by those who worked under the last Democratic president. On MSNBC’s Morning Joe earlier this week, former Obama official Steven Rattner called the ARP’s passage ​“the most dramatic shift in philosophy of government…going back 70 or 80 years.”

One element that sets the legislation apart from other recent stimulus bills is its lack of discreet corporate handouts. Progressives derided the CARES Act passed under President Trump for lavishing tax breaks on companies and wealthy business owners while the pandemic ravaged the American workforce. But even the Democrats’ ARRA of 2009 included massive subsidies to hugely profitable corporations, including General Motors and Lockheed Martin.

The fact that Biden and Congressional Democrats eschewed this approach could presage a new era of American politics in which the state no longer treats private industry as its governing partner but as a sector to be governed — one whose profit motives often stand in direct conflict with providing Americans a decent standard of living.

In his new book, Freedom from the Market: America’s Fight to Liberate Itself from the Grip of the Invisible Hand, the Roosevelt Institute’s Mike Konczal writes: ​“America’s market-oriented worldview is now breaking down. At a time of political upheaval, insecurity, and pandemics, people are hungry to reclaim a world outside the market.”

How the Democrats proceed, particularly with their forthcoming infrastructure bill, will likely determine whether this breakdown in the neoliberal order of market fealty and deficit obsession is permanent, or only temporary. The CRFP likely hopes for the former, although even as it urged fiscal constraint during the ARP negotiations, it nonetheless conceded that the government ​“shouldn’t back away from borrowing more as needed.”

If the proud ​“radical centrists” at Third Way can learn to stop worrying and embrace deficit spending, there should be nothing holding Democrats back from splurging on the working class.


The bill is very popular. So is the $15 minimum.


The economic relief bill moving rapidly through Congress is broadly popular, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS.

The popularity of the bill comes as President Joe Biden’s approval rating tilts positive around 50 days after he took the oath of office.

In the new poll, 61% support the $1.9 trillion economic relief bill proposed by Biden and expected to pass in the House Wednesday, and several key provisions of the bill are even more popular. A broad majority of Americans (85%) say they support policies in the bill that would provide larger tax credits for families and make them easier for low-income households to claim, including majorities across party lines (95% of Democrats and 73% of Republicans support it). Around three-quarters favor provisions to provide funding to facilitate a return to the classroom for K-12 students (77%), and sending stimulus checks worth up to $1,400 per person to most families and individuals (76%). Both of those policies also have majority support across party lines (55% of Republicans support each, among Democrats, support tops 90% for each one).

There’s a race to pass the stimulus by March 14. Here’s what’s at stake
A smaller majority, 59%, say they back providing $350 billion in aid to state and local governments. That policy sparks the sharpest partisan divide among the four tested, with 88% of Democrats in favor vs. just 28% of Republicans.

One measure not in the bill — raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $15 per hour — also has majority support. Overall, 55% favor such an increase in the minimum wage, including 85% of Democrats, 52% of independents and 20% of Republicans.

Roughly two-thirds of Americans say that if the bill becomes law, it will help the economy at least some (66%), and 55% say it would help people like them. Those with lower annual incomes are more likely to say the bill will do a lot to help them than are those with higher incomes (46% of those earning less than $25,000 per year say it will help people like them a lot, compared with just 6% among those earning $100,000 or more per year), as are women (28% of women say it will help them a lot vs. 19% of men), and people of color (37% among people of color vs. 16% among Whites).



When the most recent covid stimulus package passed in the Senate on Saturday, it did so without even one Republican vote. It seems all but certain the same will be true when the House of Representatives takes up the measure on Wednesday. “It was still stuffed full of non-COVID related spending,” Sen. Jodi Ernst (R-Iowa) said via a statement, explaining her thumbs down.

Fact check: true. The $1.9 trillion stimulus was the most progressive legislation signed into law in more than a decade, a Democratic assertion of the importance of big government in helping people break free of poverty, both in a time of covid-19 and in the future beyond. Three cheers for the Democrats, who are finally responding to a crisis with the appropriate aggressive forward movement.

But that success puts Republicans in a tough spot. Because Americans, you see, want more.

Don’t take it from me. That’s the takeaway from a report issued by the Center for American Progress and made exclusively available to The Post. A majority of Democrats, independents and Republicans — yes, Republicans! — say they want to increase spending by $1 trillion: on infrastructure such as bridges and roads; on a permanent policy of paid guaranteed sick leave for all workers; on paid family and medical leave for workers with a newborn child or who need to deal with an illness.

And when it comes to children, a majority of Americans support both an expansion of tax credits for families with young children and an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. (Both of these are in the current aid package, but they sunset after a year.)

“People by and large, across partisan and most demographic lines, strongly support at least an essential role for the federal government in making sure people have access to basic housing, education, health care and food,” John Halpin, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and a co-author of the report, told me.



Of course none of this will matter by November 2022 if the economy hasn’t recovered. But here is the main point, one overlooked by the skeptics: It’s the economic effect of the bill that will matter, not the immediate response to its passage. And economists overwhelmingly predict that effect will be positive. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal have increased their 2021 growth forecasts by a full point, to 5.95 percent. They believe inflation will rise slightly above the Federal Reserve’s target level this year, before settling back down in the following years. They are calculating that quickly restoring full employment will bring rapid wage gains to working-class Americans and produce a wide array of spill-off social benefits.

It’s entirely possible they’re wrong. If the economy overheats, and the Fed winds up curtailing growth to prevent an inflationary spiral, Democrats will be punished at the polls. But if the bill works as forecast, they will reap the political benefit of prosperity. Republicans might find themselves in the position of having to explain why they opposed a popular bill that led to a fast recovery. This might even make some of them eager to work with Biden on another bill.

The Republican decision to vote against Biden in unison, without building much of a case against his bill, seems like the worst of all possible worlds. They are setting themselves against a bill that enjoys sky-high levels of support from both economic experts and a large chunk of their own base. It’s possible this gambit somehow works out. But if anybody regrets their political choices in the early weeks of the administration, the odds are it won’t be Biden.




How about azzhole RWing craporate centrists at Turd Way?




Before it was pumped, leveed, and paved, south Florida looked like a network of spongy wetlands. Over the course of about a century, those damp lowlands were transformed into a paradise for more than 9 million people, complete with a bustling tourism industry and trillions of dollars worth of infrastructure. Now, the flattest state in the union is uniquely threatened by sea-level rise: the lower third of the state could be submerged in just a few generations. The ocean is threatening to turn paved paradise back into a sponge.

After years of dragging their feet, Republican lawmakers in the state are trying to prevent that from happening — but they still aren’t talking about the most necessary solutions to the problem.

Last week, Republican state legislators in Florida announced a suite of measures intended to save the Sunshine State from rising seas. The central plank of the plan, which is widely expected to become law, will direct $100 million per year over the next two years toward protections against sea-level rise and flooding. As a result, homeowners who pay to raise their houses higher off the ground will get a tax break. Local governments will get funding to come up with targeted strategies to deal with impending rise.

Preston Robertson, president and CEO of the Florida Wildlife Federation, told Grist that the bills are a Band-Aid solution to the state’s problems. “We need to try to stem rising seas at the source, which is to decrease these power sources that create greenhouse gases,” he said, “and that’s not in any of these bills.”

The fact that the bills don’t direct any funding or attention to managed retreat — the methodical and coordinated movement of people away from risks (in this case, flooding) — is even more concerning. Even if Florida’s state legislators were able to pass a comprehensive plan to address emissions, some sea-level rise is already baked in. At some point not that far in the future, south Florida will be covered in water. People will have to move elsewhere before that happens. But neither political party in Florida — or at the federal level, for that matter — has made any real effort to confront that reality, perhaps because the thought of retreating from sea-level rise has implications that are too grim to bear.

“How in the world do you do that when there are trillions of dollars in property just in Miami-Dade alone?” Robertson asked. “It’s almost impossible to get your mind around the fact that if the seas keep rising, those residences and commercial structures are going to become uninhabitable.”


for starters, you look it in the eye, you embrace MMT as one tool in the toolkit, and you start, one fossil fuel, one home at a time, if you have to.

cities will need help and it starts by stopping those pipelines and that fracking. and continues with a whole sub-department on how to retreat in a clean way.


Florida is a sandbar peninsula which has been systematically destroyed by human greed. It’s that simple. I may not be a cracker (native), but I’m damned close to one. I have watched the gradual ecological destruction for over 50 years. Red tides, intensifying hurricanes, gradual warming and no more hard freezes, sea level rise/king tides, you name it. All disgusting, heartbreaking and totally unnecessary. 💩