As always, please go to the links for the full articles/ op eds.
This is good news on the COVID relief bill, both as a signal of things to come and as an immediate lifeline to people and States in need:
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Sunday that he and Democrats holding the Senate majority will use budget reconciliation, a process by which certain legislation can be passed with the support of a simple majority, to pass a coronavirus relief bill “as soon as we possibly can.”
“We are going to use reconciliation ― that is 50 votes in the Senate plus the vice president ― to pass legislation desperately needed by working families in this country right now,” Sanders said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” [snip]
“What we cannot do is wait weeks and weeks, and months and months, to go forward,” Sanders said, arguing against a protracted debate over the relief bill. “We’ve got to act now.”
Never put "bipartisanship" and "unity" over saving peoples' lives and livelihoods. The Republicans would have tried to block this in the Senate if given the chance.
In that vein, E.J. Dionne, Jr., says Democrats aren't going to be patsies:
So, as Biden would say, here’s the deal: He and his party should indeed make every effort to negotiate with Republicans to win what support they can get. Bipartisanship is great when it works, so it’s constructive that Brian Deese, the head of the White House’s National Economic Council, is meeting with moderates and moderate conservatives, including Collins and Romney, to try to find common ground. What Democrats can’t afford, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said in an interview, is the “long drawn-out process” that characterized the party’s approach during the early Obama years on both economic stimulus and health care.
The 2009-2010 example comes up again and again in conversations with Democrats. “We have to learn from that experience in an even more urgent crisis,” Rep. Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.), the assistant House speaker, said in an interview.
This means being willing to move quickly to what is known as the reconciliation process, which would allow passage of economic relief on a simple Senate majority.
“We should give Senate Republicans a very short amount of time to signal if they want to be partners in moving the country forward, or if they intend to be obstructionists,” Van Hollen said. “And the early signaling is that they are reverting to their obstructionist mode.”
Clearly, it looks like Democrats are not messing around with Republicans
wanting to obstruct the COVID relief bill. More, please. (See also David Rothkopf's article in USA Today on America needing results more than "unity.")
Infidel 753 has some words of wisdom for Democrats in a post about "the end of an (un)lamented era":
The Democrats hold razor-thin margins in both the House and the Senate. They inherit a federal government in shambles, a nation devastated and paralyzed by covid-19, a population tens of millions of whom are in the grip of paranoid delusions (and heavily armed), a court system packed with ideological wingnuts, and a Congressional opposition consisting largely of lunatics, or of cowards in thrall to lunatics. They will, at times, fall short and fail to get things done, at least at first. They will sometimes go in objectionable directions, because the Democratic party includes constituencies with goals different from yours (or mine), and with such narrow majorities they can't afford to alienate any faction. So, yes, be prepared to push them to do what's right, but at the same time, resolve to be as supportive as you possibly can, through whatever happens. Because if we don't support them, well, we know what the alternative looks like. We've seen it in action for the last four years.
Now, more than ever, we need to stick together as much as possible. Will Rogers said nearly 100 years ago, "I belong to no organized party. I'm a Democrat." They're a lot more organized now, but still we're a big tent party that happens to be the only one standing between democracy and tyranny. Remember that.
Ambitious young seditionist Sen. Josh "Haw Haw" Hawley (Riot-MO) appears to have been an extremist hiding in plain view for some time:
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) exhibited "warning signs" of an extremist sympathizer long before he sided with a mob of people who set out to attack the U.S. Capitol, according to a recent report.
The Kansas City Star revealed on Sunday that Hawley has a history of standing up for racists and extremists that stunned his early mentors.
According to the Star, Hawley spoke up for the rights of militia members after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and defended L.A. police detective Mark Fuhrman against charges of racism following the trial of O.J. Simpson.
“Many of the people populating these movements are not radical, right-wing, pro-assault weapons freaks as they were originally stereotyped," Hawley wrote regarding militia groups following the bombing. “Dismissed by the media and treated with disdain by their elected leaders, these citizens come together and form groups that often draw more media fire as anti-government hate gatherings."
Hawley also argued in his writings that Fuhrman was unfairly called a racist after his use of racial slurs came to light during the Simpson trial.
If expulsion from the Senate isn't feasible, then censure or making sure he has no committee assignments is the least that should be done to this Trumpist demagogue.
Speaking of demagogues, the second impeachment trial of would- be autocrat Donald "Mango Mussolini" Trump is set to begin on February 8. The single article of impeachment is scheduled to be sent to the Senate today. The Washington Post is keeping a running account of the positions of the Senators on impeachment here. If your Senators need to know how you feel about making sure this menace to democracy is held accountable and is never able to hold federal office again, be sure to call them -- (202) 224-3121.
The United States has recorded 25 million coronavirus cases, reaching the threshold Saturday afternoon, according to a New York Times database.
Experts say that as staggering as that figure is, it significantly understates the true number of people in the country who have been infected and the scope of the nation’s failure to contain the spread of the virus.
The official tally works out to about one in every 13 people in the country, or about 7.6 percent of the population. (our emphasis)
Before you go, make sure you get over to the aforementioned Infidel 753 and his always excellent link round- up of posts from around the Internet. We guarantee you'll be awed, or your money back!