HomeUncategorizedWhat About Stand Alone Bills? Executive Actions? Open Thread
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It looks as though Chris Coons agrees with Joe Manchin.



Representative Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez has said the fight for a $15 federal minimum wage is not over despite the measure failing to pass in the latest COVID-19 stimulus bill.

Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat who represents New York’s 14th congressional district, addressed the issue during an hour-long Instagram live video on Thursday where she detailed the benefits of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

Ocasio-Cortez explained how Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) pushed to include the $15 minimum wage despite the parliamentarian’s ruling.

She also said that Sanders wasn’t done working to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $15.

Though not mentioning them by name, Ocasio-Cortez urged her viewers to call the eight Democratic senators who voted against including the measure in the final bill.

“You should absolutely, 100 percent contact your senator and say ‘Why did you not vote to include the $15 minimum wage?’ Because it’s really important,” she said.

“But I do want you all to know that we are not giving up on that fight,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We are taking this directly to the Biden administration. And the Biden administration has said ‘We’re not giving up on a $15 minimum wage’ and so then we’re gonna ask them, what’s the plan?”

“What’s the plan? If not this, what’s the plan? Because we’re not letting this go. This is the longest time that we have gone in U.S. history since the bill was—since the $15 wage was established—this is the longest we’ve gone without raising the wage.”

“So this is ridiculous,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Fifteen is the floor. People are saying, oh, will you accept $11?”

Ocasio-Cortez paused and made a skeptical expression before adding: “Will you accept $11? Do you know when people started fighting for a $15 minimum wage? Almost 10 years ago is when this fight started. People had deemed $15 to be the living wage back then, almost 10 years ago.”

“So when you account for increases in inflation—inflation alone—$11 is close to what $7.25 was back then,” she said. “So, no, I do not accept $11. I accept an actual, tangible raise for working people.”


The big reason why I am rooting for Ms. Nina to win her race is she is a firebrand, and does not stand down to craporists. She’s very similar to AOC in that way, and will take some of the heat off her. 🙂


T and R, NYCVG!! 🙂


We also have to remember that we won’t see anything else that involves spending and appropriations for contractors until Fall.



Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will bring the high-stakes labor battle against Amazon to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, when a union-supporting worker will testify before the Senate Budget Committee.

The hearing, which will focus on income inequality, will include testimony from Jennifer Bates, who trains employees at Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Ala. That’s the facility where 5,805 employees are in the middle of an election to decide whether they will be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

“What you are seeing right now in Bessemer is an example of the richest person in this country spending a whole lot of money to make it harder for ordinary working people to live with dignity and safety,” Sanders said in an interview with The Post.

Amazon has been trying to thwart unionization, even as Bezos saw his fortune climb $58 billion to $176.6 billion during the pandemic. It represents the growing chasm in income inequality that Sanders hopes the hearing will address.

“Bezos has become a symbol of the unfettered capitalism that we are living under right now, when the very, very rich are doing phenomenally well while ordinary working people are struggling to put food on the table,” Sanders said.

Bezos had not replied to the request to testify by Thursday afternoon, Sanders said.

Sanders, who has been a frequent Amazon critic, wants to put a spotlight on income inequality in the United States. Coming at a time when many other Americans are struggling, Bezos’s massive windfall over the past year makes him “the poster child,” Sanders said.

At the start of the pandemic, Sanders joined with three Democrat senators — Cory Booker (N.J.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Robert Menendez (N.J.) — to send Bezos a letter expressing concern that the company isn’t doing enough to protect its warehouse workers from the coronavirus outbreak.

Sanders has frequently denounced the company for paying subsistence wages to its warehouse staff. After that criticism, Amazon raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2018, though it caught heat for taking away some bonuses and stock grants for warehouse workers.

Amazon workers test positive for coronavirus at 10 U.S. warehouses
Sanders also criticized Amazon’s use of the federal tax code, saying during a 2019 presidential debate that 500,000 Americans “are sleeping out on the street and yet companies like Amazon that made billions in profits did not pay one nickel in federal income tax.”

Sanders has supported the Bessemer drive, sending pizza to workers at a rally last month. He believes the battle is a pivotal one for labor.

“If they can win, I think that will send a message to workers all over this country that if you are prepared to stand up and fight, you can win a union, you can win better wages and better working conditions,” Sanders said.


Borg Bezos thinks he’s god. The sorry SOB needs his azz kicked so hard, certain male privates fall off. I don’t have a problem with anyone honestly achieving success. It’s when he/she becomes a threat to the rest of us.



Sen. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, called out Republican members of Congress on Thursday for demanding a permanent repeal of the estate tax—a move that would overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest Americans—while simultaneously rejecting the new coronavirus relief package as “partisan and wasteful.”

“While Senate Republicans told us we cannot afford to provide $1,400 direct payments to the working class,” the Vermont senator said, “they had no problem introducing a bill this week to repeal the estate tax which would provide a $1.7 trillion tax break to the billionaire class. Total hypocrisy!”

Led by Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.)—who drew widespread scorn last month for his absurd case against raising the federal minimum wage—Republican lawmakers from both chambers of Congress on Tuesday introduced dead-on-arrival legislation that would fulfill the GOP’s longstanding goal of permanently repealing the federal estate tax, a clear indication of their priorities as millions of U.S. households continue to face hunger, illness, joblessness, and eviction.

Half of the Senate Republican caucus, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), has signed on to the legislation. Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) is the lead sponsor of companion legislation in the House.

Contrary to the GOP’s depiction of the estate tax as a burden on small family farms and businesses, the tax only applies to a tiny fraction of some of the nation’s largest estates.

In a column on Wednesday, Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times wrote that “couching the estate tax repeal as a benefit for America’s valiant business and farm owners is a scam.”

“Repealing the estate tax would be a massive handout to rich families, enabling them to concentrate their wealth to an extent the Founding Fathers found inimical to society,” Hiltzik added. “When you see Republicans like [Idaho Sen. Mike] Crapo, Thune, and McConnell wringing their hands over the burden on small farms and family businesses, call it for what it is: hogwash.”


I’ll go one better and call it what it really is: bullsh1t! 🙁




This rah-rah stuff from AOC, Bernie and other “progressives” along with
the total lunacy of Maddow and the corporate media is just pathetic!
That some of you can remain hopeful is indeed laudable.

“Come Home America”.

“Time Has Come Today”




The floodgates have opened


At least nine members of New York’s delegation to the House of Representatives on Friday called on embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign, a dramatic escalation in the push to remove the governor from office amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

The list includes members from the more progressive wing of the New York delegation — such as Reps. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Mondaire Jones and Jamaal Bowman — as well as Democratic stalwarts like Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler, who led the first impeachment effort against former President Donald Trump.

Other New York Democrats calling for Cuomo to step down included Reps. Adriano Espaillat, Nydia Velazquez, Yvette Clarke and Grace Meng. All nine lawmakers released statements Friday morning within minutes of one another, suggesting a coordinated effort to push Cuomo out of office.


Jessica Bakenan


Andrew Cuomo’s hands had been on my body — on my arms, my shoulders, the small of my back, my waist — often enough by late 2014 that I didn’t want to go to the holiday party he was hosting for the Albany press corps at the executive mansion.

I was 25 years old and working as a statehouse reporter for what is now Politico New York. I had been on the Capitol beat for a couple years by then, but I was still among the youngest reporters in the press corps, and one of the few women in the group whose job it was to report on the governor’s every move. Everyone else was going, and some had been covering state government for decades. I thought if I skipped the event, I might miss out on some intangible opportunity to cement myself as a part of that community. I ignored my instincts and went anyway, walking over from the New York State Capitol Building with several colleagues.

Shortly after I arrived, news broke on my beat, and I had to return to the Capitol. I decided to thank the governor for inviting me and, more importantly, to offer my best wishes for his father’s recovery. Former governor Mario Cuomo was dying at the time.

I walked up to the governor, who was in the middle of a conversation with another reporter, and waited for a moment when I could interject. He took my hand, as if to shake it, then refused to let go. He put his other arm around my back, his hand on my waist, and held me firmly in place while indicating to a photographer he wanted us to pose for a picture.

My job was to analyze and scrutinize him. I didn’t want a photo of him with his hands on my body and a smile on my face. But I made the reflexive assessment that most women and marginalized people know instinctively, the calculation about risk and power and self-preservation. I knew it would be far easier to smile for the brief moment it takes to snap a picture than to challenge one of the most powerful men in the country.

But my calculation was a bit off. I was wrong to believe this experience would last for just a moment. Keeping his grip on me as I practically squirmed to get away from him, the governor turned my body to face a different direction for yet another picture. He never let go of my hand.

Then he turned to me with a mischievous smile on his face, in front of all of my colleagues, and said: “I’m sorry. Am I making you uncomfortable? I thought we were going steady.”

I stood there in stunned silence, shocked and humiliated. But, of course, that was the point.

I never thought the governor wanted to have sex with me. It wasn’t about sex. It was about power. He wanted me to know that I was powerless, that I was small and weak, that I did not deserve what relative power I had: a platform to hold him accountable for his words and actions. He wanted me to know that he could take my dignity away at any moment with an inappropriate comment or a hand on my waist. (The Cuomo administration has declined to comment.)

It’s not that Cuomo spares men in his orbit from his trademark bullying and demeaning behavior. But the way he bullies and demeans women is different. He uses touching and sexual innuendo to stoke fear in us. That is the textbook definition of sexual harassment.



In the days after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was first accused of sexual harassment by a former aide, the governor’s office called at least six former employees either to find out if they had heard from the accuser or to glean information about her in conversations that some said they saw as attempts to intimidate them.

Some of the people who received the calls said they hadn’t heard from the administration in months before getting the call about the accuser. One said a caller encouraged them to give reporters any information discrediting the accuser, Lindsey Boylan, who worked as an economic adviser for the Cuomo administration between 2015 and 2018.

The calls were made by current administration officials and former aides who are still close to the governor’s office, according to several recipients. The outreach came at the behest of Melissa DeRosa, the governor’s top aide, according to people familiar with the effort.

“I felt intimidated, and I felt bewildered,” said Ana Liss, a former aide to the governor who received one of the calls.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has denied touching anyone inappropriately and has apologized for any behavior that might have been misinterpreted.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has denied touching anyone inappropriately and has apologized for any behavior that might have been misinterpreted.

Ms. Liss, who earlier this month accused Mr. Cuomo of inappropriate behavior, said that Rich Azzopardi, a senior adviser to Mr. Cuomo, phoned her on Dec. 21. The call came eight days after Ms. Boylan said in a post on Twitter that the governor sexually harassed her.

Ms. Liss hadn’t worked for the governor in more than five years and couldn’t remember the last time the administration had been in touch, she said.



Though the multiple scandals erupting in Albany seem to toggle between sexualized harassment stories and evidence of mismanagement, what is emerging is in fact a single story: That through years of ruthless tactics, deployed both within his office and against anyone he perceived as an adversary, critic, or competitor for authority, Cuomo has fostered a culture that supported harassment, cruelty, and deception. And while some have continued to defend Cuomo’s commitment to “creating the perception of strength,” and his mastery of “brutalist political theater” (as Mayor de Blasio’s former spokesman told the New York Times last month), his tough-guy routine has in fact worked to obscure governing failures; it is precisely what has permitted Cuomo and his administration to spend a decade being, to borrow Wertheimer’s assessment, both mean and bad at their jobs. As one former Cuomo staffer told me, “The same attitude that emboldens you to target a 25-year-old also emboldens you to scrub a nursing-home report.”

Cuomo’s leadership style often confuses ruthlessness with greatness, abuse with strength. Interviews with dozens of former Cuomo employees and those who have worked with or adjacent to his administration reveal a governing institution that has been run, at times, like a cultish fraternity, and at others, like a high-school clique — a state executive chamber in which the maintenance of power, performance of pecking orders, and pursuit of competitive resentments matter as much as policy. As Wertheimer said of many of those who entered the Cuomo administration alongside him: “People came in, looked around, and did the Grampa Simpson meme; we just turned back around and left.” Wertheimer quit seven months after he started. “It’s this total toxic masculine bullshit that disguises a very poorly run place.”


i have the impression, maybe wrongly, that Wall St. is much the same way.




good. every bit as, if not more, important. afaik, he basically sent wisdom givers to die.


@NYCVG do you mind if I add “and OT” to the title of your post? Everyone, including myself, appear to be treating it as such.



No Ritchie Torres and my rep Sean Patrick Maloney is a yes

As of 2:30 p.m., five Democratic members of the New York delegation had not appeared to join Friday’s coordinated campaign — Reps. Hakeem Jeffries, Gregory Meeks, Ritchie Torres, Paul Tonko and Joe Morelle.

Tonko has since joined the list