Let us consider together the year gone past and arrive at some conclusions as to where it leaves us as we enter upon another. We can begin with two recent events that, to the naked eye, have nothing to do with one another. The first of these concerns what the Biden regime calls Operation Prosperity Guardian. The Pentagon described this last week as a coalition of 20–odd countries that have agreed to assist the U.S. to protect commercial traffic in the Red Sea from drone attacks mounted by Houthi rebels in Yemen, which — look at the map — chokes off the southern end of this key maritime passage.
Republican Kevin McCarthy lost a vote to be Speaker of the House. Then he lost again. And again. Then Donald Trump called for all Republican congresspeople to support McCarthy. Then McCarthy lost three more times. This is the chaotic scene that unfolded on the floor of the House of Representatives on Tuesday and Wednesday. The wafer-thin Republican majority — their spoils from the aborted red wave — split itself apart at the first possible juncture. Despite (and perhaps because of) being the hand-picked leader of the Republican establishment, McCarthy was unable to win the support of the right of his party. So, for six consecutive votes, McCarthy was defeated due to spoiler candidates run by the Republican right wing. It doesn’t even seem like the GOP Right — primarily organized as “the Freedom Caucus” — is trying to win speakership with a candidate of their choice — three different candidates have been put forward by the right-wing over the past two days, none gaining more than 25 votes — but rather that they are trying to show that, with such a tight majority, their bloc is able to exert disproportionate political power.
The total cost of the 2022 federal midterm elections is projected to exceed $9.3 billion. But what do we get from what must surely be the most expensive electoral system on the planet? There’s little real choice. The dismantling of our democracy which took place over the last few decades on behalf of corporations and the rich has been a bipartisan project, leaving only the outward shell of democracy. The courts, legislative bodies, the executive branch, and the media, including public broadcasting, are captive to corporate power. There is no institution left that can be considered authentically democratic. The corporate coup d’etat is over. They won. We lost. The wreckage of this corporate coup is appalling, endless and futile wars to enrich a military-industrial complex that bleeds the US Treasury of half of all discretionary spending, de-industrialization that has turned US cities into decayed ruins, the slashing and privatization of social programs including education, utility services, and healthcare, which so over one million Americans account for one-fifth of global deaths from COVID, although we are 4% of the world’s population.
For several days, buses have been dumping refugees from Texas in New York City, along with buses that have been going to Washington D.C. for months. Mutual aid groups are receiving these refugees and providing them with mental health, legal support, and other resources. This mutual aid has formed in the absence of a citywide policy to welcome refugees. In recent years, more and more refugees from Latin America are migrating to the United States. This increase in migration is a direct result of the climate crisis and centuries of imperialism ravaging and underdeveloping the Global South. Wealthy countries in the Global North are responding with callous disregard for the basic right to migrate, even as they create the conditions for it. For example, many of the refugees are migrating from Venezuela, a country being economically devastated by some of the most intense U.S. sanctions regimes.
The word “populism” gets a bad rap these days as corporate media warns of its alleged dangers and President Barack Obama goes so far as to blame Sarah Palin for its recent rise. But, according to Thomas Frank, the founding editor of The Baffler and author of What’s the Matter with Kansas and his new book, The People, No, a detailed account about the history of populism in the United States, true populism is a force for good, not evil. On this week’s installment of Scheer Intelligence, the journalist and historian joins Robert Scheer to discuss in-depth how the Democratic Party chose to quash populism, while the Republican Party decided to use its stripped-down ideals for its own nefarious means.
The Republican Party is going to unprecedented lengths to undermine Joe Biden’s election victory, rallying behind President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud and refusal to accept defeat. Prominent Republicans are doing everything in their power to cast doubt on the validity of the presidential election — after spending months trying to confuse voters — while in the next breath celebrating Republican wins in Congress. In reality, there’s virtually nothing they can do to actually change the result.
The primary elections held in Michigan, Missouri, Kansas and Washington, along with a special congressional election in Ohio, showed the continued shift to the right by both of the major capitalist parties. Popular revulsion toward the Trump administration is mounting, but the Democratic Party offers no real alternative. Most attention in official political and media circles was paid to the special election in the 12th Congressional District of Ohio. The seat has been held for the past 38 years by Republicans, but was vacated last year by the resignation of Representative Pat Tiberi, who quit to take a lucrative post heading an Ohio business lobby. State Senator Troy Balderson, who is 56, won the Republican nomination in a May 8 primary, narrowly defeating an even more right-wing opponent.
REPUBLICAN SUPPORT FOR the repeal of net neutrality protections may cost lawmakers in key competitive seats, according to a recent survey conducted by Republican pollsters tied to party leadership. In June, the Federal Communications Commission, under the leadership of President Donald Trump-appointed chair Ajit Pai, finalized the repeal of net neutrality — a rule designed to prevent internet service providers like AT&T and Comcast from blocking or slowing down access to websites or streaming services. But a poll from a surprising source suggests that unless House Republicans call for reinstating net neutrality, they could pay a political cost. The new survey was conducted by Republican pollster Bryan Sanders, the spouse of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Bryan Sanders works at IMGE, a firm retained by the Super PACs of both Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Waffle House’s Right-Wing Politics: The Chikesia Clemons Controversy Follows Many Years of Supporting Reactionary Far-Right Republicans
Anyone who has spent a lot of time listening to southern hip-hop has no doubt heard of Waffle House. The restaurant chain has been mentioned in countless hip-hop and modern R&B recordings and has had plenty of black customers over the years. But following some racially troubling incidents in 2018, Dr. Bernice A. King—daughter of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—has urged African-Americans to boycott the restaurant chain, which has a strong connection to far-right politics and the Republican Party. On May 10, King sent out a tweet saying, “Family, let’s stay out of @WaffleHouseuntil the corporate office legitimately and seriously commits to 1) discussion on racism, 2) employee training, and 3) other plans to change; and until they start to implement changes.”
By Michael Ippolito. This letter was inspired by a conversation that took place in response to the video below posted by Dr. Margaret Flowers after the Republicans offered up a vote on HR 676: The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act in the Senate. HR 676 would expand health care coverage in America to all Americans; it would have cost tremendously less money; it would have helped make American business more competitive; and it would have been Medicare for All. None of the people who pay lip service to supporting Medicare for All voted for it, with Bernie Sanders leading the way as political cover for the rest of the Democrats. Meanwhile, the movement that pre-dated the Sanders campaign & helped to propel Sanders into the spotlight of American politics continues to push forward organizing allies to support HR 676 Improved Medicare for All.
By Staff of eNews Park Forest - RACINE, WI –(ENEWSPF)–March 14, 2017. In the wake of a Congressional Budget Office analysis that the GOP health plan will cause 24 million Americans to lose their health coverage, 250 people from Illinois and Wisconsin braved a blizzard and bitter temperatures outside Speaker Paul Ryan’s office here Tuesday to demand he drop his ruthless health care repeal plan. Seniors and activists from Fair Economy Illinois and the Jane Addams Senior Caucus converged with members of Citizen Action of Wisconsin (all People’s Action organizations), with SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans.
By Margaret Flowers for Health Over Profit - On March 6, 2017, Republican leadership in the House of Representatives introduced their healthcare plan for discussion and a vote in two committees, Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means. The plan is to expedite the process of ‘repeal and replace’ using the budget reconciliation process, which only requires 50 votes to pass in the Senate rather than the usual 60 votes. The plan at present is to send the House bill, if it passes, to the Senate floor for a vote. This process may not be as easy as leadership hopes. Already there are significant divisions among Republican members of Congress, especially between those in the House and the Senate.
By Tony Marrero for Tempa Bay Times - TAMPA — Vocal crowds of demonstrators making weekly visits to the Tampa office of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio have gotten the Miami Republican booted from the building. The owner of Bridgeport Center, a gleaming, nine-story office center at 5201 Kennedy Blvd., notified Rubio's office on Feb. 1 that it will not renew its lease. The reason: The rallies have become too disruptive to the other tenants and a costly expense for the company, said Jude Williams, president of America's Capital Partners. "A professional office building is not a place for that," Williams said. "I understand their cause, but at the end of the day it was a security concern for us. Rubio is now faced with the prospect of going without a brick-and-mortar office until a new location can be found.
By Kali Holloway for AlterNet - Iowa’s Chuck Grassley was challenged by two constituents. An Afghan man, who worked as an interpreter with the U.S. military, questioned what would be done to aid him as the Trump administration rolls out its unconstitutional Muslim ban. “Who will save me?” he asked the senator. And a local farmer revived the Republican myth of Obamacare “death panels” to drive home how lives would be imperiled by an ACA repeal. In Colorado, constituents held an "in absentia town hall" for legislators who were no-shows. Already familiar with the lie Trump again repeated the morning before, they kicked off the session by holding up their Colorado drivers' licenses to prove they’re local residents. Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey avoided his constituents altogether, but they went ahead with a town hall anyway. It featured an empty suit in Toomey’s place, to which constituents directed their questions.
By Deirdre Fulton for Common Dreams - The speaker is not holding any hometown district meetings this week but is reportedly fundraising in several Texas cities. Constituents have for weeks been complaining of difficulty reaching House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) by phone, so on Wednesday a national advocacy group brought their messages right to the congressman's doorstep—"the old-fashioned way." He'll get them when he returns from a fundraising jaunt in Texas, presumably. Women's advocacy group UltraViolet organized the drop-off of 86,000 postcards, bearing custom notes from people around the country, along with a cake and a singing telegram. The postcards were delivered to Ryan's Janesville, Wisconsin, office in a truck carrying a giant, glittery slogan: "Special Delivery: To the Speaker of the House. From: Concerned Americans."