HomeUncategorizedHope for MSNBC and OT May 10, 2021
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T and R, pb4!! ☮️😊👍👏


Hopefully the compromise is raising the cap rather than eliminating it. There are other issues involved here. The blue states with generous social benefits may be more reluctant to continue them if the cap isn’t raised. Blue states are already subsidizing the red states who tax their wealthy at much lesser amounts and have crappy services.


Sen. Bernie Sanders made clear in an interview Sunday that he opposes the push by top Democrats to restore a tax deduction that overwhelmingly benefited the richest households in the U.S., saying such an effort “sends a terrible, terrible message” at a time of crippling economic pain for poor and working-class people.

“You have got to make it clear which side you are on—and you can’t be on the side of the wealthy and powerful if you’re going to really fight for working families,” Sanders (I-Vt.), the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, said in an appearance on “Axios on HBO.”

The tax break in question is known as the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, which former President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers capped at $10,000 as part of their 2017 tax law. While the GOP tax measure was highly regressive—delivering the bulk of its benefits to the rich and large corporations—the SALT cap was “one of the few aspects of the Trump bill that actually promoted tax progressivity,” as the Washington Post pointed out last month.

According to a recent analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), 62% of the benefits of repealing the SALT cap would go to the richest 1% and 86% of the benefits would go to the top 5%. ITEP estimated that temporarily suspending the cap would cost more than $90 billion in just one year.

“There is no state where this is a primarily middle-class issue,” the organization found. “In every state and the District of Columbia, more than half of the benefits would go to the richest 5% of taxpayers. In all but six states, more than half of the benefits would go to the richest 1%.

Nonetheless, prominent Democrats from blue states—which were disproportionately impacted by the SALT cap—are demanding full restoration of the tax break in President Joe Biden’s infrastructure package, disingenuously characterizing the cap as a major burden on the middle class.


More from the Axios interview


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) indicated to “Axios on HBO” he’s already impatient with the White House’s quest for Republican support for President Biden’s infrastructure package, saying. “The American people want results” and don’t care if these results are achieved with bipartisan votes.

Why it matters: The Budget Committee chairman and former presidential rival can cause a lot of headaches for Biden if he so chooses. He controls the budget process Senate Democrats have used to bypass GOP opposition and pass legislation on a pure party-line vote.

He’s one of the Democrats’ key progressive leaders and they can’t afford to lose anyone in a 50-50 Senate.

Driving the news: To test Sanders’ reaction to the White House’s thinking on what has broadly been dubbed “infrastructure” — but in reality is a sweeping social welfare program that goes well beyond what is commonly understood as infrastructure — I asked the Vermont senator to react to a quote from the influential Biden aide Steve Ricchetti.

Here’s what Ricchetti told the Washington Post: “We have a little more time for the consideration of this, and the percolation of these proposals, to have broader consultation and dialogue. There’s more receptivity on the Republican side to having that dialogue, and they also see the potential to reach some common ground here.”

Here’s how Sanders reacted: “In general I don’t agree with that. … The bottom line is the American people want results.”

“And frankly, when people got a, you know, $1,400 check or $5,600 check for their family, they didn’t say, ‘Oh, I can’t cash this check because it was done without any Republican votes.'”

Between the lines: The bigger challenge for Sanders and other progressives who are impatient with this period of closed-door bipartisan discussions is that it’s not only the White House that wants to take a little time to negotiate.

Key Democrats in the Senate were frustrated that they didn’t have a say in shaping the first coronavirus bill. They have made clear to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) that they will not tolerate being rubber stamps again, and want time to go through a normal process of legislating and see if they can’t strike a deal with Republicans.

This group of eager bipartisan negotiators includes Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a Biden ally, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and well-known moderate Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said they would like to see “progress by Memorial Day” and the bill passed by the summer.

Behind the scenes: While the White House has been talking to Republicans, it has also made sure to stay closely engaged with progressives.

Vice President Kamala Harris has talked to progressive members, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Katie Porter (D-Calif.), per a White House source.

And Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg met last week with members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

The bottom line: If these bipartisan negotiations drag into the summer, expect progressives like Sanders to get increasingly vocal about their frustrations.

Sanders believes the lesson of the Obama era — in which the former president held out hope of getting Republicans to support the Affordable Care Act — is that it’s foolish to let Republicans slow-walk the Democratic agenda.

“Congress takes breaks and it’s easy to obstruct,” Sanders said. “The Senate is a very slow-moving process. … I would begin, you know, starting this work immediately. If Republicans want to come on board, seriously, great. If not, we’re going to do it alone.”



Sen. Bernie Sanders told “Axios on HBO” he’d support legislation to prevent police unions from negotiating benefits and disciplinary procedures that shield law enforcement officers from accountability.

Why it matters: Sanders is one of the most vocal supporters of organized labor in Congress. But powerful police unions have been a major obstacle to criminal justice reforms — and the killing of George Floyd has fueled a growing fight within the labor movement over the proper role of police unions.

Over the years, they’ve established a web of benefits for their members that make it difficult to fire police officers who abuse their power.

Sanders and some other progressives are deeply uncomfortable about how police unions have been using their collective bargaining power.

What he’s saying: “I am very strongly pro-worker, very strongly pro-union,” Sanders said in an interview. “So when, police or anybody else are fighting for decent wages and working conditions I’m there.

“But what some of the police unions have done is taken it beyond that. And what they have done is try through a variety of legal means of saying, ‘Hey, if a police officer does something illegal or worse’ — I mean kill somebody — ‘we’re going to protect that person.’

“That’s a different story than supporting people fighting for decent wages and benefits.”

The bottom line: Asked whether he would support legislation to curtail the rights of police unions to bargain over issues that relate to the criminal justice process, Sanders said, “Yes.”



The U.S. will protect gay and transgender people against sex discrimination in health care, the Biden administration announced Monday, reversing a Trump-era policy that sought to narrow the scope of legal rights in sensitive situations involving medical care.

The action by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) affirms that federal laws forbidding sex discrimination in health care also protect gay and transgender people. The Trump administration had defined “sex” to mean gender assigned at birth, thereby excluding transgender people from the law’s umbrella of protection.

“Fear of discrimination can lead individuals to forgo care, which can have serious negative health consequences,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “Everyone — including LGBTQ people — should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period.”

Becerra said the Biden administration policy will bring HHS into line with a landmark Supreme Court decision last year in a workplace discrimination case, which established that federal laws against sex discrimination on the job also protect gay and transgender people.

Despite that ruling, the Trump administration proceeded to try to narrow the legal protections against health care discrimination, issuing rules that narrowly defined “sex” as biological gender. A federal judge had blocked those rules from taking effect, although Trump administration officials argued that as a legal matter health care discrimination was a separate issue from the employment case the Supreme Court decided.


Conservatives are following the path of the Republicans.

Meanwhile the recent vote in Scotland gave a clear majority to pro independence parties (SNP and Greens) setting up a clash between the national Conservatives and the SNP over an independence referendum.




Just watched Meet Me in St Louis again a few weeks ago.