HomeUncategorized5/11-12 News Roundup & Open Thread

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Benny
Benny

🚨BREAKING: The House voted 217-202 to grant Congressional Staff the right to form a union & bargain collectively without threat of retaliation.

To our fellow Congressional Workers: tonight belongs to us. Tomorrow we continue the fight—solidarity forever! #1u

Our statement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/7kLoy376Sl

— Congressional Workers Union (@Congress_Union) May 11, 2022

jcitybone

jcitybone

Thanks Benny. Here’s an article about the speech.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/05/11/sanders-gop-ended-filibuster-pack-supreme-court-so-dems-must-end-it-save-abortion

On the eve of a key procedural vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act, Sen. Bernie Sanders said in a floor speech Tuesday that the Senate’s Democratic majority must use its power to end the legislative filibuster and codify abortion rights into federal law.

Sanders (I-Vt.), the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, acknowledged that Senate Democrats don’t currently have the 60 votes needed to overcome the filibuster, an archaic rule that has enabled the Republican minority to stonewall much of the majority party’s agenda over the past year.

“It is not good enough to just talk about passing this bill,” Sanders said of the WHPA, legislation that would cement the right to abortion care free from medically unnecessary restrictions as the U.S. Supreme Court’s right-wing majority gears up to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“We must end the filibuster and pass it with 50 votes,” said the Vermont senator. “You know, I hear a lot of talk from my Democratic colleagues about the need for unity. Well, if there was ever a time for unity, now is that time.”

Despite calling Wednesday’s vote “one of the most important… in decades,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has not given any indication that he plans to pursue filibuster reform if Republicans and right-wing Democrats block the WHPA.

Just 50 votes and a tie-breaker from the vice president are required to eliminate or weaken the filibuster, but at least two right-wing Democrats—Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.)—have refused to accept any changes to the rule. Both Democratic senators openly defended the filibuster in the hours after Justice Samuel Alito’s extremist draft opinion was leaked to the press.

With Manchin opposed to the WHPA and the filibuster intact, the House-passed legislation is doomed to fail in the Senate.

In his speech Tuesday, Sanders noted that Republicans’ 2017 decision to eliminate the 60-vote filibuster for Supreme Court nominees empowered them to “do what they could not do legislatively: Make abortion illegal.”

“Candidate Donald Trump promised that he would only nominate Supreme Court justices who supported overturning Roe v. Wade,” Sanders said. “And, unfortunately, out of the many lies Trump made during his campaign and presidency, this seems to be the one promise he kept.”

The Vermont senator emphasized that Alito, a George W. Bush nominee, as well as Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett were selected by presidents who lost the popular vote. All four justices—plus Clarence Thomas, who was nominated by George H.W. Bush—are expected to vote to overturn Roe.

“Is it any wonder why Americans all over the country are losing faith in their democracy?” Sanders said. “If Republicans can end the filibuster to install right-wing justices nominated by presidents who lost the popular vote in order to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats can and must end the filibuster to make abortion legal and safe.”

In more than half of all U.S. states, abortion will likely be prohibited. If Republicans retake Congress in November and the White House in 2024, they could pursue a sweeping federal ban on abortion. The United States’ maternal mortality crisis, already the worst among rich countries, will potentially become more severe, with the impacts disproportionately hitting the poor.

“Let’s be clear: The Supreme Court will not be able to ban abortion,” Sanders said Tuesday. “If you are wealthy and you have the means to get on an airplane or drive hundreds of miles—you will always have access to a safe abortion. But if you are poor or if you are in the working class, you will not.”

jcitybone

jcitybone

orlbucfan

Hey Rashida, how about doing a little more to help get genuine American Progressives elected? And while you’re at it, have a chat with Pocan and Jayapal about getting their priorities straight, you dig? I’m sick of living in a backwards, fascist, craporate police state!

orlbucfan

A thankful T and R x 2, Ms. Benny!! ☮️😊👍

jcitybone

orlbucfan

This senile POS can go straight to corrupt h3ll for cowards. I sure wish I believed in it.

wi63

“As Ineffectual Cowards” Well they are as they dont have the balls to go the distance

LieparDestin

Biden flexes power in primaries to boost moderates

When President Biden jumped into an Ohio congressional race to offer a surprise endorsement, progressives weren’t pleased.

In the final stretch of a Cleveland area rematch, Biden threw his weight behind Rep. Shontel Brown (D-Ohio) over Biden critic and former state Sen. Nina Turner. Turner, an ally of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), saw disparaging remarks she made about then-candidate Biden during the 2020 election come back to haunt her, including her comment to The Atlantic that voting for him would be equivalent to eating a “bowl of shit.”

Given the contentious nature of their relationship, many expected Democrats to back Brown over her rival. But few saw Brown’s blessing coming from Biden himself. What followed was confusion about why the president — drowning in domestic woes and low polls to match — would exert his influence like that after calling for unity.

“Party machine politics is very strong,” said Angelo Greco, a senior campaign adviser to Turner. “I don’t even think it was necessary. The machine had already fallen behind Shontel.”

While it’s common for a president to express primary preferences, progressives say he is helping to needlessly tilt the direction of the party towards the middle ahead of the midterms.

And frustration is mounting. In recent weeks, a fear has caught hold on the left that the more Biden gets involved, the less likely the chances to grow progressive membership on Capitol Hill.

“It was to make a point,” Greco said about bucking Turner. “It was signaling for the future.”

..

In Texas, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), who is facing a primary challenge from liberal activist and lawyer Jessica Cisneros, was also part of that group. Biden has not endorsed Cuellar and is not expected to, offering some temporary relief to nervous progressives. “They’re smart enough to stay away from that one,” Greco mused about White House officials.

Still, Cisneros and some aligned progressives want Biden and congressional leadership to disavow him explicitly.

“The word should go out across the land that if you are one of the 10 House Democrats that basically blocked the momentum and gave Joe Manchin an opening to do what he did, you will not be in the next Congress,” Green said. “So that every other Democrat takes notice and the next thing can go through.”

Biden has waded into only a handful of primaries during his first term, choosing the more centrist option in both Brown and Schrader. In other cases, he supported Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.) in a special election to replace Interior Secretary Deb Haaland as well as former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), a longtime friend, over several lesser-known contenders.

Some progressives believe that there’s a split within the White House between more left-leaning advisers and those who are closer to Biden’s moderate inclinations. Chief of staff Ron Klain is thought of as a friend to the left who has often worked as a bridge between progressives and centrist holdouts in Biden’s orbit. On the other side, Brian Deese and Susan Rice,

..

The president knows that he can count on the moderates to be with him when many on the far left will not,” said Matt Bennett, co-founder of the Democratic think tank Third Way. “With razor-thin margins and a restive group of activists, his preference for real supporters over fair-weather fans is not hard to understand.”

..

TheHill.com

CAMPAIGN
Biden flexes power in primaries to boost moderates
BY HANNA TRUDO – 05/12/22 5:28 AM ET
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When President Biden jumped into an Ohio congressional race to offer a surprise endorsement, progressives weren’t pleased.

In the final stretch of a Cleveland area rematch, Biden threw his weight behind Rep. Shontel Brown (D-Ohio) over Biden critic and former state Sen. Nina Turner. Turner, an ally of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), saw disparaging remarks she made about then-candidate Biden during the 2020 election come back to haunt her, including her comment to The Atlantic that voting for him would be equivalent to eating a “bowl of shit.”

Given the contentious nature of their relationship, many expected Democrats to back Brown over her rival. But few saw Brown’s blessing coming from Biden himself. What followed was confusion about why the president — drowning in domestic woes and low polls to match — would exert his influence like that after calling for unity.

“Party machine politics is very strong,” said Angelo Greco, a senior campaign adviser to Turner. “I don’t even think it was necessary. The machine had already fallen behind Shontel.”

While it’s common for a president to express primary preferences, progressives say he is helping to needlessly tilt the direction of the party towards the middle ahead of the midterms.

And frustration is mounting. In recent weeks, a fear has caught hold on the left that the more Biden gets involved, the less likely the chances to grow progressive membership on Capitol Hill.

“It was to make a point,” Greco said about bucking Turner. “It was signaling for the future.”

The endorsement wasn’t siloed. Leading up to a primary next Tuesday, where Democrats will face off for control of Oregon’s 5th Congressional District, Biden offered his support to Rep. Kurt Schrader, a seven-term congressman who many progressives believe is too conservative to remain in Congress. He’s facing a challenge from Jamie McLeod-Skinner, a progressive lawyer and small business owner.

While Biden suffered a personal attack from Turner, he wasn’t criticized as harshly from McLeod-Skinner, making his endorsement of her opponent more perplexing to activists and operatives.

The Progressive Congressional Campaign Committee, which has backed several liberal candidates this cycle, strongly condemned the president’s decision.

“Joe Biden, as president of the United States, has every right to walk softly and carry a big stick,” said Adam Green, a co-founder of the group. “Instead, by endorsing Kurt Schrader and not opposing Henry Cuellar in Texas, he is saying if you cross me, I will endorse you or support you.”

“For those of us that want this president to succeed and want his agenda to succeed, this just seems like malpractice,” Green said.

Progressives view Schrader as one of the biggest obstacles to getting “Build Back Better,” Biden’s domestic spending and climate package, to become law. He was part of a coalition of moderate House members called the Problem Solvers Caucus who wanted to delink the package from Biden’s infrastructure plan, which some liberals believe sent a signal to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to oppose the bigger bill in the Senate.

Biden himself acknowledged some differences with Schrader.

“We don’t always agree, but when it has mattered most, Kurt has been there for me,” the president wrote in a statement. “In doing so, he has helped to pass much of my agenda into law — making a huge difference in the lives of the Oregonians he represents and all of America.”

In Texas, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), who is facing a primary challenge from liberal activist and lawyer Jessica Cisneros, was also part of that group. Biden has not endorsed Cuellar and is not expected to, offering some temporary relief to nervous progressives. “They’re smart enough to stay away from that one,” Greco mused about White House officials.

Still, Cisneros and some aligned progressives want Biden and congressional leadership to disavow him explicitly.

“The word should go out across the land that if you are one of the 10 House Democrats that basically blocked the momentum and gave Joe Manchin an opening to do what he did, you will not be in the next Congress,” Green said. “So that every other Democrat takes notice and the next thing can go through.”

Biden has waded into only a handful of primaries during his first term, choosing the more centrist option in both Brown and Schrader. In other cases, he supported Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.) in a special election to replace Interior Secretary Deb Haaland as well as former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), a longtime friend, over several lesser-known contenders.

Some progressives believe that there’s a split within the White House between more left-leaning advisers and those who are closer to Biden’s moderate inclinations. Chief of staff Ron Klain is thought of as a friend to the left who has often worked as a bridge between progressives and centrist holdouts in Biden’s orbit. On the other side, Brian Deese and Susan Rice, who direct the National Economic Council and Domestic Policy Council, respectively, are perceived by some to be more moderate and less likely to back progressive stances and candidates.

In their view, the president’s support has helped bolster the existing roster in Congress, giving space to Democrats who have already proven to be popular among constituents in their districts. During a tough first term, he’s shown particular deference toward incumbent Democrats who they say have voted in line with his highest priorities, including the bipartisan infrastructure package that down-ballot candidates are expected to campaign on in the fall.

“The president knows that he can count on the moderates to be with him when many on the far left will not,” said Matt Bennett, co-founder of the Democratic think tank Third Way. “With razor-thin margins and a restive group of activists, his preference for real supporters over fair-weather fans is not hard to understand.”

Biden has notably endorsed fewer candidates than other top fixtures in the party. A tally by Axios counted Biden last on a list that includes Sanders, Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in the Senate and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) in the House.

A source in the administration told The Hill that Biden will be signing off on more candidates when asked about the rationale behind getting involved in certain contests over others.

“You can expect to see some endorsements from the president moving forward,” said a Biden adviser. “He will be endorsing incumbents who have been with him on votes and supporting his agenda which is helping the American people.”

The adviser noted the scarceness of his support in Dem-on-Dem contests, drawing attention to the careful calculus that goes into each election from the top down.

“He’s always evaluating each race and request as they come in, but think it’s worth noting he hasn’t often done this, so we take that seriously but are also being strategic about what we are doing here,” the Biden adviser added.

Progressives, however, have been growing tired of the intraparty play — infrequent as it is.

They note that there is a degree of resentment building among those who would like to see the president stay neutral or take a gamble with a left-wing alternative.

“At a time when progressives have largely been carrying the water for this administration in the fight for ‘Build Back Better’ and passing the president’s agenda, we need every progressive champion possible in Congress that has our backs,” said Sawyer Hackett, a liberal strategist and senior adviser to former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

“On issues like abortion that come down to the margins,” Hackett said, “protecting incumbents who come from safe blue districts but join Republicans on critical issues, it can feel like a stab in the back when they get support from establishment Democrats like President Biden.”

LieparDestin

jcitybone

LieparDestin

jcitybone

jcitybone

jcitybone

jcitybone