The Messy Truth About America That the Right Wing Can’t Bear to Admit

The messy truth about America that the right wing can't bear to admitTim Scott John Stoehr May 03, 2021

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I got a second dose Saturday. I was bed-ridden Sunday. I’m feeling better today, but writing is hard labor. I won’t do the usual dissection of recent events. I’ll instead swing for the fences and see what happens. Even if I strike out, it might prove to be useful.

The president and the vice president were asked last week if Tim Scott is right. In a GOP response to the State of the Union address to the United States Congress, the United States Senator said America is not a racist country. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris agreed. America is not racist country. But, they said, there is work to do.

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Conservative Maps Out Why the ‘Derangement of the Republican Party’ is Only Getting Worse

Conservative maps out why 'the 'derangement of the Republican Party' is only getting worse

Donald Trump supporters outside the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, Wikimedia Commons 

Alex Henderson May 03, 2021

The state of the Republican Party in the Biden era was the topic of a robust discussion on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on May 3, with a panel of guests agreeing with hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski that the GOP has become increasingly unhinged.

The guests included conservative pundit Charlie Sykes — a blistering critic of former President Donald Trump — Financial Times’ Ed Luce, the Associated Press’s Jonathan Lemire, and Eddie Glaude, Jr., a professor of African-American studies at Princeton University who is often featured as a liberal pundit on MSNBC.

Scarborough, a Never Trump conservative and former GOP congressman, noted that pro-Trump Republicans have been going after Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming with a vengeance for condemning Trump’s role in the January 6 insurrection — and that in Maricopa County, Arizona, Republicans have been conducting an overtly partisan audit of the votes in the 2020 presidential election. Those things, according to Sykes, not only illustrate “the derangement of the Republican Party” but also, the “acceleration of the derangement of the Republican Party.”

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New Poll Confirms the GOP’s Fears on Voting Rights

New poll confirms the GOP's fears on voting rights

Rep. Kevin McCarthy // PBS NewsHour 

Kenny Stancil and Common Dreams May 03, 2021

Zero GOP lawmakers have backed the For the People Act, congressional Democrats’ comprehensive plan to strengthen U.S. democracy by making it easier to vote, curbing partisan gerrymandering, and limiting the influence of money in politics.

Republican voters, however, support many of the proposals in the 800-page bill, according to a new poll released Monday.

The survey (pdf) of 1,138 likely voters across the country—conducted from April 16 to April 19 by Data for Progress on behalf of Vox—found that, when presented without partisan cues, the voting rights and election reform bill is popular with voters across party lines. Overall, 69% of the electorate supports the For the People Act, including 52% of Republicans, 70% of Independents, and 85% of Democrats.

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Capitol Police IG Says There’s No Oversight Over the Force’s Board (+2 more)

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 13: Fencing topped with barbed wire surrounds the Capitol Building (Photo by Jonathan Newton /The Washington Post via Getty Images)

By Kate Riga

While disparate congressional committees have chipped away at what exactly allowed a pro-Trump mob to muscle into the Capitol building on January 6, one thing has become clear: the opacity cloaking the inner workings of the Capitol police.

Much of that scrutiny has become focused on the Capitol Police Board, the overseeing body of the force comprised of the architect of the Capitol, House and Senate sergeants at arms and the chief of police in a non-voting role.

The board has authority over almost all of the security decisions made at the Capitol, but received little attention until the January 6 disaster. Calls for its reform have become a bipartisan unifier as lawmakers look to improve Capitol security. 

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Many GOPers Plan To Skip Biden’s First Speech To Congress If Invited

WILMINGTON, DE - JULY 28:  Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the William “Hicks” Anderson Community Center, on July 28, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden addressed the fourth component of his “Build Back Better” economic recovery plan for working families, how his plan will address systemic racism and advance racial economic equity in the United States.  (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the William Hicks Anderson Community Center on July 28, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

By Cristina Cabrera

A lot of Republicans reportedly won’t attend President Joe Biden’s first address to Congress next week if invited.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office has not yet decided how many tickets for the event will be allotted to Democratic and GOP lawmakers in both chambers, but Republican leaders told Punchbowl that there’s little desire among rank-and-file members of their caucuses to go regardless.

“I don’t think I’ll probably attend,” Senate Republican Conference Vice Chair Joni Earnst (R-IA) said, according to Punchbowl.

It’s unclear why so many GOP lawmakers wouldn’t show up if they get invited, though some of them cited logistics as a reason for their absence.

However, a handful of Republicans said they do want to attend Biden’s speech, including Trump loyalists like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).

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Watchdog Finds Trump Admin Created Obstacles That Delayed Relief Aid To Puerto Rico

President Donald Trump tosses paper towels into a crowd as he hands out supplies at Calvary Chapel, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump tosses paper towels into a crowd as he hands out supplies at Calvary Chapel, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. Trump is in Puerto Rico to survey hurricane damage. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

By Zoë Richards

The Trump administration lined up unprecedented bureaucratic obstacles that delayed approximately $20 billion in hurricane relief for Puerto Rico, according to an inspector general report that could be released publicly as soon as Thursday.

In a 46-page document first reported by the Washington Post early Thursday, the inspector general said it found procedural hurdles created by the White House budget office that stalled recovery aid even as watchdogs were met with efforts by Trump administration officials to obstruct their investigation into the delay by the request of Congress in 2019.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria had left Puerto Rico residents without power and clean water for months after ravaging the U.S. territory in 2017.

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Proud Boys Leaders Ordered Jailed Ahead of Trial for #MAGA Riots (+2 more)

Brad Reed

Proud Boys leaders ordered jailed ahead of trial for MAGA riots: report

Proud Boys in Washington, D.C. (Johnny Silvercloud / Shutterstock.com)

Two leaders of the far-right Proud Boys gang are now being detained ahead of their trial for their roles in the January 6th riots at the United States Capitol building.

As reported by BuzzFeed News’ Zoe Tillman, Proud Boys leaders Ethan Nordean and Joseph Biggs were ordered to go back to jail pending their trials by United States District Judge Timothy Kelly of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

In his ruling, Kelly emphasized the seriousness of the charges facing Nordean and Biggs, whom he said “stand charged with seeking to steal one of the crown jewels of our country, in a sense, by interfering with the peaceful transfer of power.”

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‘Everyone in the Capitol is Nervous’: Florida Republicans Fear They’ll Be Swept Up in Matt Gaetz Investigation, Lawmaker Says

Matthew Chapman

Rep. Matt Gaetz

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) (Photo: Gage Skidmore)​

On Sunday evening, Jordan Zarakin of Progressives Everywhere on Substack released an interview with Florida state Rep. Carlos Smith, the first gay Latino member of the Florida legislature, in which they discussed the growing sex trafficking scandal surrounding Rep. Matt Gaetz.

During the segment, Smith noted that the Florida Republican Party, behind the scenes, is terrified that the investigation could sweep up more of their members.

“The web of corruption that Matt Gaetz, Joel Greenberg, and [Ron] DeSantis are all wrapped up in is really a web that appears to tie up the entire Republican Party of Florida,” said Smith. “It seems like everyone in the Capitol is nervous about what the next revelation is going to be and who else is implicated in this sweeping saga of corruption that they’ve been a part of for so long.”

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Trump and the GOP suffer another humiliating Supreme Court defeat

Tom Boggioni

Trump and the GOP suffer another humiliating Supreme Court defeat

US president Donald Trump. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP

According to CNN, the Supreme Court has once again declined to take up a lawsuit asserting the 2020 presidential election was tainted by voter fraud.

On Monday, the high court declined to take up a case filed by Republicans that the voting in Pennsylvania was tainted by changes to voting rules.

Noting that the latest dismissal by the court is signal that the justices want no part in Donald Trump’s assertion that he was robbed of his second term, CNN reports, “Before Monday, the justices had already declined several requests to dive into one of the most litigious elections in history, denying petitions from then-President Donald Trump and other Republicans seeking to overturn election result in multiple states President Joe Biden won.”

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Cops & Public Officials Gave Anonymous Donations & Messages of Support to Kyle Rittenhouse’s Crowdfunding Campaign (+3 more)

By Vivian Kane

A man wears a Trump hat and a shirt that says "Free Kyle", referencing Kyle Rittenhouse

Content warning: racism, police violence

Kyle Rittenhouse had so much support after allegedly shooting and killing Black Lives Matter protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin last summer, that he was reportedly able to pay the entirety of his original $2 million bond with money from various crowdfunding campaigns.

One of those campaigns was on the site GiveSendGo, which calls itself the “#1 Free Christian Crowdfunding Site.” That campaign raised nearly $600,000 and is full of messages of support from anonymous donors—messages like “You did nothing wrong,” “Thank you for protecting us,” and “Thanks for being brave.”

Thanks to a data breach at the site, shared by a group called Distributed Denial of Secrets, those anonymous donors have now had their identities revealed. And an abhorrent but not at all surprising number of them are police officers and public officials.

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Expanding the Supreme Court Is Normal and We Should Do It; And Now.

By Jessica Mason

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 15: (L-R) Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) arrive for a press conference in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to announce legislation to expand the number of seats on the Supreme Court on April 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. Their bill would expand the Supreme Court from 9 to 13 justices. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says she does not support the bill and doesn't plan to bring it to the House floor. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Yesterday on the steps of the Supreme Court, Senator Ed Markey, flanked by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia and Rep. Mondaire Jones of New York, announced the introduction of a bill aimed at expanding the Supreme court from 9 to 13 seats. This was met with cries from the GOP of “court-packing” and Nancy Pelosi frustratingly said she would not bring the bill to the floor in congress.

The thing is that the Supreme Court should absolutely be expanded. And it has been before. There’s nothing in the constitution that says how many judges must sit on the Supreme Court, that’s up to congress. The court went from six to five to seven to nine to ten and back to nine in the 19th century, all for political reasons ranging from John Adams trying to screw with Thomas Jefferson’s appointments to the court all the way to trying to keep the court from ruling against Reconstruction.

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Simon & Schuster Won’t Distribute Book by Cop Involved in Breonna Taylor’s Death but That’s Not the End of This Conversation

By Vivian Kane

A group of protesters gather in the street in a march to the Breonna Taylor memorial

Just hours after the Louisville Courier-Journal first reported that one of the cops involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor had landed a book deal, Simon & Schuster said they were as surprised by its existence as anyone and that they would not be participating in its distribution.

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly’s book, titled, The Fight for Truth: The Inside Story Behind the Breonna Taylor Tragedy, was picked up by Post Hill Press, a small conservative and “Christian” publishing house that is distributed by Simon & Schuster.

“Like much of the American public, earlier today Simon & Schuster learned of plans by distribution client Post Hill Press to publish a book by Jonathan Mattingly. We have subsequently decided not be involved in the distribution of this book,” the company wrote on Twitter.

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Marjorie Taylor Greene Backpedals Launch of White Supremacist ‘America First’ Caucus

When you’re so racist that even the GOP rejects you.

By Chelsea Steiner

Marjorie Taylor Greene and her dumb masks

Georgia republican and hillbilly Eva Braun Marjorie Taylor Greene has come under fire for trying to launch the “America First Caucus”, a white supremacist and nativist caucus designed to appeal to Trump supporters and extreme right wing conservatives. Greene organized the caucus with Arizona congressman and fellow Capitol riots instigator Paul Gosar, which aims to promote “common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions.”

The caucus document, which was circulated online yesterday, reads “The America First Caucus (AFC) exists to promote Congressional policies that are to the long-term benefit of the American nation,” adding that it aims to “follow in President Trump’s footsteps, and potentially step on some toes and sacrifice sacred cows for the good of the American nation.” The document is extremely nativist, and repeatedly refers to “Anglo-Saxon” traditions and supports infrastructure “that reflects the architectural, engineering and aesthetic value that befits the progeny of European architecture.”

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Like the Nazis & Fascists, the Republican Party Must Be Purged

It must not be allowed, like the Confederacy was, to live on with its own “lost cause” BS mythology

Thom Hartmann
Photo by DesignClass on Unsplash

President Joe Biden has largely given up on trying to negotiate anything with Republicans. There’s a good reason for this: the GOP is no longer a legitimate political party.

One of the most comprehensive and well respected surveys of political parties worldwide is called the Global Party Survey and came out of work done at Harvard in the US and Sydney University in Australia. The researchers note: “Drawing on survey data gathered from 1,861 party and election experts, the study uses 21 core items to estimate key ideological values, issue positions, and populist rhetoric for 1,127 parties in 170 countries.”

What they found was that the Democratic Party in the US is fairly solidly within the norms for political parties in fully developed countries around the world. It resembles normal and legitimate parties in Canada and most of Western Europe.

The Republican party, however, both behaves and is ideologically most similar to Hungary’s Fidesz party, Turkey’s AKP party and Poland’s PiS party.

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Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz: Their Unholy Trumpian Alliance Continues

Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz: Their unholy Trumpian alliance continues

Rep. Matt Gaetz speaking s at an “An Address to Young Americans” event, hosted by Students for Trump and Turning Point Action at Dream City Church in Phoenix, Arizona in June 2020, Gage Skidmore Alex Henderson April 04, 2021

Although former President Donald Trump has been gone from the White House for over two months and Democrats control both the executive and judicial branches of the United States’ federal government, Trump’s grip on the Republican Party continues —and in the U.S. House of Representatives, one of the most Trumpian alliances is that of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. With the 38-year-old Gaetz facing allegations that he was sexually involved with a 17-year-old girl — allegations he has vehemently denied — Greene is rising to his defense just as he recently rose to hers.

Gaetz finds himself caught up in a broad sexual trafficking investigation being carried out by the U.S. Department of Justice. The far-right GOP congressman and devout Trump supporter is not the main target of the probe, but the allegation that he had a sexual relationship with an under-age girl and paid her to travel with him is one of the things the DOJ is investigating.

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House Dems Demand Harris Advance $15 Minimum Wage (and 3 more)

Biden is Better, but…

 BY BERT BIGELOW

Twelve years ago when Barack Obama was the incoming President, he declared, “We are a nation of Christians, and Muslims, Jews and Hindus—and nonbelievers.” It was the first time any President had used his inaugural address to affirm that secular people were a welcome part of the nation. Since then, the secular part of our nation has grown substantially, especially the younger generations.


House Dems Demand Harris Advance $15 Minimum Wage

In a new letter, nearly two dozen House Dems are pressing Vice President Kamala Harris to ignore the Senate parliamentarian and fulfill her minimum wage promise.

Julia Rock and Andrew Perez
Progressive House lawmakers are demanding Vice President Kamala Harris use her power as presiding officer of the Senate to immediately advance the $15 minimum wage that she has long said she supports.

“Eighty-one million people cast their ballots to elect you on a platform that called for a $15 minimum wage. We urge you to keep that promise,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Harris and President Joe Biden, pressing the White House to raise the wage for workers as part of Biden’s American Rescue Plan. “We must act now to prevent tens of millions of hardworking Americans from being underpaid any longer.”

House Dems Demand Harris Advance $15 Minimum Wage – The Daily Poster


Thom Hartmann: Oligarchy; The Hidden History

Rob Kall Bottom-up Show | 1.38K subscribers
Thom Hartmann is a progressive national and internationally syndicated talk show host, described by Talkers magazine as America’s most important progressive host and one of the top ten radio shows in the country every year for over a decade. He is also a New York Times bestselling author of dozens of books.


Why Trump’s Takeover of the GOP is Great for Biden and the Democrats (but a Potential Disaster for America)

By Robert Reich

Donald Trump formally anointed himself head of the Republican Party at Sunday’s Conservative Political Action Conference.

The Grand Old Party, founded in 1854 in Ripon, Wisconsin, is now dead. What’s left is a dwindling number of elected officials who have stood up to Trump but are now being purged. Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s popularity has dropped 29 points among Kentucky Republicans since he broke with Trump.

Robert Reich (Why Trump’s Takeover of the GOP is Great for Biden…)