Friday, April 30, 2021

Tweets Of The Day


The "Reagan Revolution" is officially kaput --


American asshat was also Russian asset --


A few cheese curds short of a bag --



Well, only to the extent it allowed the Murdochs to immigrate here, Mothertucker's right --



America is not a racist country, especially the former guy --



Happy Friday! --




Today's Cartoons


(click on images to enlarge)

(Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News)

(Rob Rogers, Counterpoint)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Nick Anderson,

(Ann Telnaes, Washington Post)

(Marty Two Bulls,

(Gary Markstein,

(Kevin Necessary,

(Clay Jones,

(Michael de Adder, Washington Post)

Georgia Voters And The First 100 Days


President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden celebrated his first 100 days in office in the most appropriate place he could: in the State of Georgia at a drive in rally. In November, Georgia gave Biden its 16 electoral votes, a nice but not decisive number in his landslide Electoral College tally. Rather, it was the January 5 run off election pitting Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock respectively against Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler that was of historic significance to Biden's Presidency. Ironically, but appropriately, malignant narcissist and seditionist leader Donald "Loser" Trump undercut the Republican Senate candidates by claiming the November election was rigged, so many in his cult were thought to be discouraged about voting in the run off.

Looking back at the landscape prior to November, it would be hard to imagine Georgia as the state giving Biden the Senators he needed to pass legislation through an evenly-divided Senate, with VP Harris casting her vote in ties. It's been a Republican state for many election cycles, but the influx of people from around the country in the past decade, especially to Atlanta and its suburbs, is changing the demographic profile. David Smith of The Guardian sets the scene for Biden's rally:

"With a US national flag behind him, Biden told supporters gathered around vehicles: 'Because of you, we passed one of the most consequential rescue bills in American history … You changed America. You began to change America and you’re helping us prove America can still deliver for the people.'

That meant, he said, a hundred days that included the creation of 1.3m jobs, more than other president in history over the same period. It meant food and rental assistance, loans for small businesses and an expansion of healthcare. And, he said, the US is on course to cut child poverty in half this year."

A massive turn out on January 5 of African-Americans (particularly women), young voters, and disaffected Republican suburban voters were what gave Biden just enough seats to pass his massive funding programs through the reconciliation process. Unfortunately, unless and until the filibuster rule is eliminated or drastically revised, voting rights, police reform and other critical legislation will be nearly impossible with unified Republican obstruction using the 60 vote filibuster threshold. But for now we can thank the voters of Georgia for the easy-to-overlook January 5 Senate run off that may end up changing America.

(photo: President Biden is joined by Sen. Warnock, the First Lady, and Sen. Ossoff. Nathan Posner  / AJT)

Weekend Music


Fifty- five years ago today, the Rolling Stones' fourth album, "Aftermath," hit number 1 on the U.K. charts.  It was notable in that it was the first of their albums with all compositions by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and for the experimental structures and tones, largely thanks to the variety of instruments played by Brian Jones (like the dulcimer) that you wouldn't normally hear on a Rolling Stones album.  Oh, and also it had some of their best music.  Here are "I Am Waiting" and "Lady Jane" (the original mono version).

Republicans: "You're Not Doing Unity Our Way!"


Catherine Rampell nails the treason party's latest attack angle on President Biden:

Republicans argue that Biden offered a bait-and-switch, that he ran on healing our divisions but now plans to . . . pass a bunch of social programs benefiting the poor and middle class. If you’re wondering how that latter agenda supposedly contradicts the former, you’re not alone. The connective tissue, according to Republican officials, is that programs redistributing money to help the poor and middle class are somehow inherently divisive (class warfare!), regardless of the polls suggesting their popularity; or, in the GOP telling, only the programs Republican lawmakers vote for should count as unifying.

In other words, Republicans have decided that the test of Biden’s desire to unify the country is whether Republicans themselves defect from the project — and they have made clear their decision to always do so. As Republicans learned during the Obama years, the easiest way to ensure a president fails at achieving promised cooperation is to refuse to cooperate.

So that’s what they’re doing, including on initiatives that they’d previously supported (under another president, of a different party), such as investments in child care, paid leave or infrastructure. Even when Republicans have announced a supposedly reasonable compromise or counteroffer, they were clearly not serious attempts to negotiate. See their recent infrastructure proposal, which was an insultingly lowball bid, disguised with accounting gimmicks.

Unity, under this thinking, means that Biden must grant Republicans a veto that they’ve pledged to consistently exercise. Some Republicans have indicated they’re practically obligated to obstruct his agenda, because the president had the gall to propose reversing part of the 2017 GOP tax cut to pay for new spending.

It's another manifestation of the insurrectionists' "party before country" priorities, of Democrats never being seen as a legitimate majority, of heads I win, tails you lose games playing, all to the detriment of our democracy and the general welfare.

To counter this cynical ploy, President Biden and Democrats need to continue to define "bipartisanship" not as getting insurrectionist votes in Congress for his agenda, but by getting popular support -- Democrats, Republicans, Independents -- across the country.  Then pass your agenda, whether the treason party votes for any of it or not.  We think they will, and the country will thank them for it.

"The Warm Afterglow of Basic Competence"


ICYMI, Stephen Colbert had a hilarious monologue last night touching on, among other things, President Biden's speech to Congress and the agenda he presented, and the typical Republican reactions. Look for his incomparable monikers and descriptions of various villains like Ted Cruz, Stephen Miller and Chris Christie: "Fidel Gastro," "Sheriff of Rottingham," "Divorced Porky Pig," and "Man Attempting a One Cheek Sneak." 

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Tweets Of The Day

100 days --


OTOH,  an exhausted set of empty (and bonkers) slogans --





R.I.P Michael Collins --



You know how this will end, right? --



David Blaine strikes again --




USPS Board Moving Closer To Dem Majority

Yesterday the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved three Democratic nominees to the U.S. Postal Service's Board of Governors, meaning that if approved by the full Senate as expected, Dems would have the majority votes. The revival of the USPS is critical, not only for the delivery of everything from bills and payments to medications, but in advance of the 2022 and 2024 elections, when absentee / mail-in ballots are expected to be a popular way to vote. 

The sinister Trump-appointed Postmaster General Louis "Delay" DeJoy, a major Trump campaign contributor, did everything in his power last year to sabotage the USPS' ability to handle absentee ballots as well as normal mail, knowing that the more votes cast, the better for Dems. His transparent "streamlining" effort dismantled rapid sorting machines in hundreds of post offices, and the after effect is still being felt with mail being delayed or undelivered. He also cut hours of operation and overtime, and eliminated USPS collection boxes in underserved communities in an apparent effort to suppress voting by mail. 

The new Board of Governors' first order of business with a Dem majority must be to fire DeJoy and to stop his continued dismantling of the services provided by the USPS. They also need to seek legislative relief for the onerous requirement that the USPS fully fund its retirement program for 70 years in advance (funding to make the USPS whole doesn't appear to be in the American Jobs Plan, which is a serious oversight that should be corrected).

(photo: DeJoy: buh-bye soon? Jim Watson AFP/Bloomberg)

QOTD -- R.I.P. Reaganomics


From President Biden's address to Congress last night:

20 million Americans lost their jobs in the pandemic – working- and middle-class Americans. 

At the same time, the roughly 650 Billionaires in America saw their net worth increase by more than $1 Trillion.  

Let me say that again. 

Just 650 people increased their wealth by more than $1 Trillion during this pandemic. 

They are now worth more than $4 Trillion. 

My fellow Americans, trickle-down economics has  
never worked. 

It’s time to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle-out.

The destructive Reagan/ Republican fantasy of "trickle down economics" has largely only benefited the wealthy and corporations (i.e., the Republican donor class).  For the first time we can remember, if ever, a President of the United States has spoken plainly and truthfully about the income inequality and the drag on the economy that this has engendered.  Democrats are defining themselves again in the best possible terms, in contrast to the GQP.

Today's Cartoons


(click on images to enlarge)

(Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News)

(Jeff Danziger, The Rutland Herald, VT)

(Andy Marlette, Pensacola News-Journal, FL)

 (R.J. Matson, CQ/ Roll Call)

(Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News)

(Robert Ariail,

(Mike Smith, Las Vegas Sun)

(Steve Sack, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

(J.D. Crowe, Alabama Media Group)

(Heng Kim Song, Lianhe Zaobao, Singapore)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

The Biden Boom


Economic indicators are showing a strong economic recovery, boosted by a competent vaccine rollout and President Biden's historic American Recovery Plan:

The economy picked up speed last quarter, shaking off some of the lingering effects of the pandemic as consumer spending grew, bolstered by government stimulus checks and an easing of restrictions in many parts of the country.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the economy expanded 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021, compared with 1.1 percent in the final quarter last year.

On an annualized basis, the first-quarter growth rate was 6.4 percent.

“We’re running on all cylinders in terms of economic activity,” said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West in San Francisco. “People are anxious to get out and return to their normal lives, and there’s pent-up demand.”

“It doesn’t hurt that the stock market is at a record high and the housing market is strong,” he added. “Consumers have built up roughly $2 trillion in excess savings.”

Overall economic activity should return to prepandemic levels in the current quarter, Mr. Anderson said, while cautioning that it will take until late 2022 for employment to regain the ground it lost as a result of the pandemic.  [snip]

Tom Gimbel, chief executive of LaSalle Network, a recruiting and staffing firm in Chicago, said: “It’s the best job market I’ve seen in 25 years. We have 50 percent more openings now than we did pre-Covid.”

Hiring is stronger for junior to midlevel positions, he said, with strong demand for professionals in accounting, financing, marketing and sales, among other areas. “Companies are building up their back-office support and supply chains,” he said. “I think we’re good for at least 18 months to two years.”

If Democrats can keep the momentum by passing the wildly popular American Jobs Plan (and it would be sheer political malpractice not to), a new era of American prosperity centering on building better from the ground up and the middle out, as the President has often put it, is on the near horizon.  That would be the best demonstration of what competent, compassionate progressive government can achieve than anything else.

"America Is On The Move Again"

In his first address last night to a joint session of Congress, President Biden outlined the components of his American Jobs Plan for infrastructure and discussed his proposed American Families Plan, a major shift in resources for supporting American families from early childhood education to supporting elderly care. Biden plans to pay for the proposals through corporate tax increases -- reinstated to the levels under George Bush -- and income tax hikes on those making $400,000 per year. (You can find a brief summary of the President's three major initiatives is here ).

Biden noted the pace at which Americans have gotten vaccinated -- some 220 million- plus doses given so far -- urging everyone else to get vaccinated. He also touched on issues including policing reform, gun violence and the need for stronger background checks and limits on assault-style weapons, that dealing with climate change represents an opportunity for significant job growth, and repairing alliances while demonstrating to autocratic governments that democracy works. Overall, his speech was motivational and less partisan, certainly in contrast to his predecessor, with the folksy delivery and asides that are associated with him. 

In snap polls after his speech, there was wide approval for Biden, as indicated by the CBS News /YouGov poll showing 85% approving and 78% saying the speech made them feel more optimistic about America. A CNN / SSRS poll showed similar results from the public, with 71% saying the speech left them more optimistic about the direction of the country, and 73% saying that Biden's proposals would move the country in the right direction. The political wind -- at least among the population if not Republican politicians -- is at his back, and he has that mandate to move forward without hesitation.

(photo: Biden speaks before a COVID protocol-limited Congressional audience, as VP Harris and Speaker Pelosi applaud. NPR)

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

History In A Picture

"Madame Speaker.  Madame Vice President. No president has ever said those words from this podium, and it’s about time."

With those words, President Biden opened his speech to the joint session of Congress tonight, noting a first in our country's history.

More on the speech tomorrow.

(photo: Chip Somodevilla / Pool via AP)

Tweets Of The Day


 The man and the moment --


 Get vaccinated --



Your bad media question criterion --



Republican dolt asks if COVID vaccine contains a tracking device --



Republican dolt wants the "good" of slavery taught, too --



Looks like these fine Tallahassee, FL, not- racists learned their lesson already --



QOTD -- The New Reasonable


The magic of Joe Biden is that everything he does becomes the new reasonable.” -- Andrew Yang, quoted in a Washington Post article about Joe Biden's first 100 days in office.

Today's Cartoons


(click on images to enlarge)

(Bruce Plante,

(Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer)

(Matt Davies, Newsday)

(Kevin Kallaugher, Counterpoint)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(Phil Hands, Wisconsin State Journal)

(Jen Sorensen,

(Tim Campbell, Washington Post Writers Group)

(Signe Wilkinson,

(Peter Kuper, @PKuperArt)

Giuliani's Apartment Searched, Electronic Devices Seized (UPDATED)



Rudy "Toot Toot" Giuliani, call your attorney -- again (hope it's Sydney Powell):
Federal investigators in Manhattan executed a search warrant on Wednesday at the Upper East Side apartment of Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who became President Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer, stepping up a criminal investigation into Mr. Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

One of the people said the investigators had seized Mr. Giuliani’s electronic devices.

Executing a search warrant is an extraordinary move for prosecutors to take against a lawyer, let alone a lawyer for a former president, and it marks a major turning point in the long-running investigation into Mr. Giuliani.

The federal authorities have been largely focused on whether Mr. Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration in 2019 on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs, who at the same time were helping Mr. Giuliani search for dirt on Mr. Trump’s political rivals, including President Biden, who was then a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

This utterly, morally corrupt leader of the "Stop the Steal" racket, who's being sued for $1.3 billion for his defamatory efforts, and who told the January 6 insurrection crowd "Let's have trial by combat," needs to spend as much of the rest of his life as possible broke and in the slammer.  May the legal system that he's used to create an image of a law- and- order guy now take him down -- hard.

BONUS: Oh, the irony --



UPDATE: The home of Giuliani associate Victoria Toensing has also been searched by the FBI. She's the wife of attorney Joseph diGenova, another "Stop the Steal" grifter.

UPDATE IIAdam Silverman has a deeper dive into the national security implications of the raids today.

(Photo: Scene from "Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm," featuring Toot Toot searching his pants, but probably not for electronic devices.)

Mid-Week Song: Song For You


Virtuoso jazz singer and pianist Shirley Horn (1934 - 2005) was one of the most accomplished artists to come out of Washington, D.C., and that's saying lots, considering D.C. also produced the immortal Duke Ellington. Horn, who played with such greats as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Wynton Marsalis, was especially gifted for being able to sing beautifully while accompanying herself as if someone else was playing her piano. A Howard University grad in classical music, she was offered admission to Juilliard, but couldn't afford it. Here's her live performance of  Leon Russell's "A Song For You" from 1981, at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands. Enjoy.

Of Books, Burgers and Bullshit: Republicans Unleashed


Demonstrating once again that they're out of ideas and arguments, the Republican political-media conglomerate wants to keep their mouth breathing base in a perpetual uproar to distract from their hollow party. First, it was absurdly Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head presented as victims in their culture war. In the past few days, it's been false stories about President Biden planning to limit meat consumption and Vice President Harris' book being part of a "welcome" package to immigrant kids.

The burger deprivation story was spun up by right-wing media from an innocuous study at the University of Michigan that indicated hypothetically that greenhouse gasses could be dramatically cut by reducing red meat consumption. The wingnut Wurlitzer concocted the story that it was part of Biden's climate change plan, and the Rethug political establishment ran with it, notably Texas Gov. and its electric grid destroyer Greg "Yabbadabba" Abbott.

Next, the sleazy far-right Rupert Murdoch tabloid and birdcage liner New York Post made up a tale that Vice President Harris' inspirational children's book was being given to each immigrant child (presumably at tax payer expense) when in fact a single copy may have been donated as a result of a private book drive in Long Beach, CA. The "reporter" from the New York Post has resigned over the fraud, claiming that (surprise!) she was directed to write the false story by her newspaper's management.

The culture war / smear campaign will go on with a vengeance, especially because the right-wing has nothing but "no" to offer the American people, and the Dems do have something to offer. The distraction of hamburgers, children's books and conspiracy theories is all they have to keep their angry and seditious base from seeing the "no" at the heart of their party.

President Biden's Speech To Congress Tonight


While not a traditional State of the Union message, President Biden's speech to a pandemic- limited portion of Congress tonight (9 p.m. EDT) will be historic nonetheless.  

First, consider the visual of having two women -- Vice President Harris and Speaker Pelosi -- seated behind the President, representing a power shift at the highest level of government.  

Second, consider the seismic shift in the conception of the role of government, following decades of shaving principles and goalpost- moving to accommodate Republicans.  Having already signed the American Rescue Plan to help bring us back from the pandemic and with ramifications for sharply reducing child poverty, tonight's speech will feature two more pieces of his transformational agenda:  the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan. Here are some facts about the latter:

Add at least four years of free education. Investing in education is a down payment on the future of America. As access to high school became more widely available at the turn of the 20th Century, it made us the best-educated and best-prepared nation in the world. But everyone knows that 12 years is not enough today. The American Families Plan will make transformational investments from early childhood to postsecondary education so that all children and young people are able to grow, learn, and gain the skills they need to succeed. It will provide universal, quality-preschool to all three- and four- year-olds. It will provide Americans two years of free community college. It will invest in making college more affordable for low- and middle-income students, including students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and institutions such as Hispanic-serving institutions, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions, and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs). And, it will invest in our teachers as well as our students, improving teacher training and support so that our schools become engines of growth at every level.

Provide direct support to children and families. Our nation is strongest when everyone has the opportunity to join the workforce and contribute to the economy. But many workers struggle to both hold a full-time job and care for themselves and their families. The American Families Plan will provide direct support to families to ensure that low- and middle-income families spend no more than seven percent of their income on child care, and that the child care they access is of high-quality. It will also provide direct support to workers and families by creating a national comprehensive paid family and medical leave program that will bring the American system in line with competitor nations that offer paid leave programs. The system will also allow people to manage their health and the health of their families. And, it will provide critical nutrition assistance to families who need it most and expand access to healthy meals to our nation’s students – dramatically reducing childhood hunger.

Extend tax cuts for families with children and American workersWhile the American Rescue Plan provided meaningful relief for hundreds of millions of Americans, too many families and workers feel the squeeze of too-low wages and the high costs of meeting their basic needs and their aspirations. At the same time, the wealthiest Americans continue to get further and further ahead. The American Families Plan will extend key tax cuts in the American Rescue Plan that benefit lower- and middle-income workers and families, including the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. In addition to making it easier for families to make ends meet, tax credits for working families have been shown to boost child academic and economic performance over time. The American Families Plan will also extend the expanded health insurance tax credits in the American Rescue Plan. These credits are providing premium relief that is lowering health insurance costs by an average of $50 per person per month for nine million people, and will enable four million uninsured people to gain coverage. 
The Administration proposes funding these investments through reforms to the tax system to ensure that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share.  Everything is spelled out in detail at the link above.

This is a smart, progressive government already taking shape in the first 100 days.  The policies are wildly popular.  How popular?

Americans broadly back the big-ticket spending proposals that have defined President Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office, a variety of recent polls show.

Surveys show many more Americans approve than disapprove of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill Biden signed into law in March — by far his most significant legislative victory to date.

Polls also find Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan is already popular with majorities or pluralities of respondents.

As he turns the page on his first 100 days on Thursday, Biden is gearing up to unveil yet another massive spending package, this one aimed at addressing family-related issues.

The momentum needs to keep going. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Tweets Of The Day


Real "fake news" --



Junior going down? --


"911." "I'd like to report a smug fascist troll." --


Let the lawsuits fly!  --



Trail warning! --




Moscow Court Moves Against Navalny's Group

In a predictable and despicable action, the Kremlin-wired Moscow City Court limited the activities of the Foundation for Fighting Corruption until a judgement is rendered regarding whether it constitutes an "extremist organization." The foundation was established by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who remains in a Russian prison on the orders of Russian thug and autocrat Vladimir Putin.

If Putin's kangaroo court rules, as is expected, that the foundation is an "extremist organization," its offices across Russia would be closed, and members of the foundation would be subject to arrest and prison.

"If the court grants the request, it would be a crippling blow to the beleaguered team of Navalny, who is President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critic. Navalny has been behind bars since January, and many of his aides and associates were arrested or face criminal charges. [snip]

Ivan Pavlov, a lawyer for the foundation, said it is no longer allowed to use the media or the internet to distribute content or to organize rallies and public events, participate in elections or use bank deposits."  (our emphasis)

Putin's regime runs in a fashion similar to an organized crime family, with Putin receiving a percentage of the income from Russia's varied industries which are all run by his allies. The discovery of the notorious Panama Papers five years ago gave the world an insight into Putin's corruption on a large scale, with him moving vast sums of wealth to accounts he controls with the aid of friends. Navalny was on to the criminal behavior at the top of the Russian government before that:

Navalny’s foundation started 10 years ago and has alleged high-ranking government officials are corrupt by posting colorful and widely watched videos on social media platforms such as YouTube.

One of its latest posts, which has received 116 million views, alleges that a lavish palace on the Black Sea shore was built for Putin through an elaborate corruption scheme. The Kremlin has denied there are any links to Putin."

The more international attention on Navalny's imprisonment and treatment, the more attention on what is the cause. Putin knows he'll eventually face international condemnation over his corruption and his increasingly open attempts to silence the accusers, but for now it's all about the crackdown and intimidation.

Today's Cartoons


(click on images to enlarge)

(Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune)

(Robert Ariail,

(Chris Britt,

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Jeff Darcy, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

(Joe Heller,

(Lisa Benson, Washington Post Writers Group)

(Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News)

(David Cohen, Asheville Citizen Times, NC)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Julia Suits, The New Yorker)