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    If Republicans regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives and/or the U.S. Senate in the 2022 midterms, it won’t be traditional Reagan and Goldwater conservatives running Congress. It will be far-right MAGA extremists and fringe conspiracy theorists who have a lot more in common with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán than they do with the late Sen. John McCain or President George H.W. Bush. The radicalization of the Republican Party and the GOP’s abandonment of traditional conservatism is discussed in two articles published by the conservative website The Bulwark on January 19 — one by Sarah Longwell, founder of the Republican Accountability Project (formerly Republican Voters Against Trump), and the other by history professor and frequent Bulwark contributor Thomas Lecaque. Lecaque, using former President Donald Trump’s first MAGA rally of 2022 as an example, describes the type of fringe kooks who have achieved prominence in the GOP. Longwell, meanwhile, describes a strategy in which some Republican candidates will pander to the far right in rural areas but try to appear more moderate in suburban...
    One year after leaving office, former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump lawyers to Supreme Court: Jan. 6 committee 'will not be harmed by delay' Two House Democrats announce they won't seek reelection DiCaprio on climate change: 'Vote for people that are sane' MORE is in an odd spot. On one hand, Trump is clearly the dominant figure in the Republican Party. He would be the overwhelming favorite to win the party’s presidential nomination in 2024, should he enter the race.  His most vociferous internal critics are on the retreat. Three of the 10 House Republicans who voted for Trump’s second impeachment in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection have already decided against running for reelection. On the other hand, Trump’s banishment from Twitter and other social media platforms after his incitement of Jan. 6 has made it more difficult for him to be quite as central to the political conversation as he once was.  Some Republicans in the Senate have become willing to raise their heads above the parapet to criticize him. And the jury is still out as to...
    Rep. Jerry McNerney Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney, who got to Congress in 2006 by unseating a longtime Republican incumbent, announced Tuesday that he would not seek another term in California's redrawn 9th District, a new seat that shares the same number as his current constituency. Minutes later, fellow Democratic Rep. Josh Harder declared that he’d run to succeed McNerney rather than continue with his previously announced campaign for the revamped 13th District just to the south, a move that will set off an open seat race for the latter district. Harder’s move is a bit surprising. His old district, numbered the 10th, was chopped up during redistricting, leaving him representing just 31% of the new 13th, located in the mid-Central Valley. But an even smaller share of his current constituents—just 27%—wound up in the new 9th, which is based around the city of Stockton. (A 43% plurality of Harder’s existing 10th District wound up in the new 5th, a safely red seat where GOP Rep. Tom McClintock is reportedly seeking another term.) The new 13th also contains Harder’s hometown of...
    Republicans are aligned with Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of meritocracy while Democrats side with George Wallace, the 45th governor of Alabama and a Democrat racial segregationist, Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA) said on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday with host Joel Pollak. Pollak asked Ferguson about Democrats’ framing of Republican-driven election integrity legislation in Georgia as “an assault [on] the right to vote.” “Are Republicans trying to make it harder for people to vote because of racism, because they don’t want black Americans [and] Latino Americans to vote?” Pollak asked. “Is that what is driving these voting reforms in Georgia?” Ferguson replied, “That could not be further from the truth. Why would we cut off or say that we don’t want people to vote that are naturally becoming Republicans and are beginning to vote Republican? Look at the Hispanic community across the country. They are conservative voters that are now voting Republican. Look at look at what’s happening in Texas and in Florida. The number of new Hispanic voters that are voting Republican is perhaps the fastest growing group.” “Look at the...
    The RNC’s Presidential Debates Committee has voted unanimously that the RNC will no longer work with the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). Debates are an important part of the democratic process, but this outdated organization has had a monopoly on organizing general election presidential debates and, for far too long, has shown clear bias against Republican candidates. We are not walking away from debates. We are walking away from the CPD. It didn’t have to be this way. Over the past year, we have attempted to work with the CPD to enact simple and commonsense reforms to help ensure fair debates going forward: hosting debates before voting begins, selecting balanced and unbiased moderators who have never worked for candidates on the debate stage, and prohibiting board members from publicly disparaging nominees. A guarantee that they would fix these issues would have solved the problem, but they refused to do that. Now, we are officially initiating the process of changing the Republican Party’s rules to ensure that our future candidates are not forced to go through the biased CPD in order...
    Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw was caught on video snapping at a young girl at a Texas Tea Party event on Monday evening, earning furious heckling from GOP voters there.  One angry audience member shouted that the girl was just 10 years old.  She had asked the veteran-turned-lawmaker about recent comments he made suggesting Jesus Christ was not 'real' despite publicly declaring himself a devout Christian, during a question session at the at the Montgomery County Tea Party meeting. Crenshaw appeared on the Jocko Podcast in March 2020 to promote his new book Fortitude, where he was asked to elaborate on his thoughts on heroism. 'The important thing is that we societal hero archetypes that we look up to. Jesus is a hero archetype, Superman is a hero archetype. Real characters too, I could name a thousand,' the 10-year-old quoted Crenshaw as saying, adding civil rights icon Rosa Parks and former President Ronald Reagan to the list.  She seemed to take issue with him putting Jesus in the same category as Superman. 'I can't wrap my head around this,' she said after...
    'Fight: How Gen Z Is Channeling Their Fear and Passion to Save America' was published by St Martin's Press on Monday A new book suggests Generation Z, which has just begun reaching voting age, overwhelmingly backs Democrats, offering President Biden and his party encouragement even as they face difficult midterm elections. The latest polling puts Biden's approval rating at less than 40 percent and Gallup last year charted a major swing from Republican to Democrat across the nation. But John Della Volpe, polling director at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics, and CEO of SocialSphere, says the latest generation of voters - shaped by the Great Recession, Greta Thunberg, race protests and the rise of Donald Trump - suggests a brighter future. 'Generational replacement will not be kind to Trump’s Republican Party,' he told Axios.  His book, 'Fight: How Gen Z Is Channeling Their Fear and Passion to Save America' was published on Monday, setting out the mindset of some 70 million Americans born from the mid-1990s onwards.  He listed the events and the themes that shaped them through their...
    Penzeys Spices CEO sparked outrage after he renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Republicans are Racist Weekend, in a promotional newsletter for customers.   Bill Penzey Jr., 58, sent out the letter on Friday which promised to 'Cheese Off Racists for Free!' as part of a spices promotion that includes ten Black Lives Matter stickers, because they have 'earned our respect!' The Republicans are Racist letter has infuriated customers on both sides of the aisle who criticized Penzey for his outrageous claims and say they now plan to boycott the company.  'I'm a Democrat and liberal and all that and I know not all Republicans are racist. I think this is going a bit too far with the generalizations,' one customer wrote on the Penzeys website. Another said: 'I am a Democrat. But, I find this bad business.'  Republican Wisconsin State Senator Julian Bradley slammed the company, telling FOX 6 News, 'Penzey's has been grifting off terrible political takes and low name-calling for a decade, so the reporters will give them free media. These lies are news?'  The CEO has previously called Republicans the 'number...
    With all attention being paid (and rightly so) to Republican efforts to rig upcoming elections in their favor by making it harder to vote, especially harder for African Americans and other Democratic-leaning groups, the steady improvement during 2021 of Republicans in the quarterly Gallup survey of party identification my not have received the attention it deserves. In the first quarter of 2021, Democrats had a nine-point lead (combining those who described themselves as Democrats with those who said they leaned Democratic). In the second quarter, it shrank to six. In the third quarter, the Democratic advantage was down to a single percentage point, 45-44. Gallup’s recently-published numbers for the fourth quarter of 2021 show that Republicans and Republican leaners outnumbered Democrats and Dem-leaners by 47-42 percent.  According to the Gallup writeup of this trend, Republicans haven’t held a quarterly advantage this large since 1995. The biggest shift, in the case of both parties, was among “leaners.” Democrats dropped just two points (from 30-28) among those who identified as Democrats, and Republicans gained by just three (from 25 to 28). But...
    When President Joe Biden recalled his old friend Sen. Strom Thurmond and the former segregationist’s record-setting filibuster against the 1957 Civil Rights Act, my mind flashed back to 1987, when Thurmond, who died in 2003 at 100, schooled me about his feat. The South Carolina Democrat-turned-Republican by the 1980s had retreated from his racist views and, as Biden said in his speech in Atlanta on Tuesday, “even Strom Thurmond” supported voting rights bills. Yet Thurmond remained proud of his record for the longest filibuster ever by a lone senator — 24 hours, 18 minutes of standing, literally, against racial justice. He told me he had spent two days sweating in a Senate steam room, dehydrating himself to delay needing a bathroom break that would force him to leave the Senate floor and end his talkathon. The point of the story for which I interviewed him was that the filibuster had evolved from the rare endurance test into a relatively easy routine, and — unlike Thurmond or the protagonist of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” — a bill’s opponents didn’t even need to come...
    Things are not looking good for voting rights. Reliably useless Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema last week reasserted their unwillingness to change the filibuster rule to oppose voter suppression. A political Rube Goldberg chain reaction followed, with Chuck Schumer then delaying the promised vote to alter the filibuster—impossible without Manchin and Sinema’s support—and thereby missing his own self-imposed, highly symbolic, always-a-long-shot deadline of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Barring some kind of heavenly intervention, when the Senate reconvenes this week to vote on the combined John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement and Freedom to Vote Act, not a single Republican will sign on. And for the imminent death of America’s flawed and fragile democracy before it even arrives at its 60th birthday, blame should be assigned to multiple killers and bystanders—including the feckless Democrats, the Supreme Court and its chief partisan, and the power-hungry white grievance-mongers of the GOP. Sure, Dems are fighting an opponent with no regard for either human decency or the rules, but that was well established forever ago and they should’ve been prepared. Donald...
    Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a once-loyal member of Donald Trump's court, is refusing to bend a knee to the former president and says backing him in the 2024 election 'is too much to ask' after Trump publicly attacked his character. Trump allegedly branded popular governor as having 'no personal charisma' and a 'dull personality' as rumors swirl the ex-president is angry DeSantis hasn't declined to challenge him for the GOP presidential nomination.  DeSantis, however, has told his inner circle that Trump's 'expectation that he bend the knee is asking too much,' the New York Times reported.  The governor blasted back at Trump's criticisms, accusing the ex-president of being 'uncharacteristically out of step with the hard-line elements of his party’s base'.   Sources close to the former president who have recently talked to him about the governor said Trump has grown increasingly irked by DeSantis in recent months, with Trump beginning to voice his frustrations to those in his inner circle. Trump is said to be annoyed that DeSantis has refused to rule out running against him if he launches a second White...
    American support for the Democratic Party took a plunge last year while the GOP saw its highest popularity since 1995, as President Joe Biden faces mounting criticism over inflation and COVID ahead of the November midterms. A new survey conducted by Gallup revealed 47 percent of Americans identified as Republican or Republican-leaning at the end of 2021. This was a nine percent increase in support from the start of the year.  Meanwhile, 42 percent of survey participants identified as Democrat or Democrat-leaning between October 1 and December 31, a seven percent decrease from the first quarter of the year. The new results indicate a dramatic flip in favor of the Republican party, which has continued to trail behind the Democratic Party over the last decade. It is also the first time the GOP has had a five point lead over the Democrats since the mid-90s. They also spell good news for Republicans ahead of the November 2022 midterms, amid growing predictions that the GOP will take back both the House of Representatives and Senate, leaving Biden, 79, a lame-duck president.   American...
    Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton told "Fox News Primetime" Monday that the Democratic Party has seen a "leftward lurch" under President Biden as a recent poll shows more American voters are identifying as Republicans.  DRAMATIC 14-POINT SHIFT IN PARTY PREFERENCE DURING 2021 GIVES GOP BIGGEST LEAD SINCE 1995: GALLUP TOM COTTON: That's welcomed news for us in the Republican Party. We are excited to have so many more Americans registering as Republicans. It reminds me of what Ronald Reagan said, though, that he didn't leave the Democratic Party. It left him. That's what you've seen over the last year in this far, far leftward lurch of the Democratic Party under Joe Biden.  These Americans are joining the Republican Party because they know that we will protect them, protect their families, protect our country, we will protect their rights, we'll protect their job and their right to earn a living and to keep that money. We'll protect them from the kind of threats that we face on our streets and a crime wave that's washing all across America, or foreign threats like...
    During a recent appearance on the Daily Beast’s podcast, “The New Abnormal,” veteran journalist Carl Bernstein discussed his new book, “Chasing History: A Kid in the Newsroom” — which looks back on the beginning of his journalism career. Bernstein, speaking to co-host Molly Jong-Fast, also shared his thoughts on the state of journalism in 2022, the modern Republican Party and Fox News’ popularity with its viewers. Bernstein, now 77, became famous in the 1970s for his reporting on Watergate with his Washington Post colleague Bob Woodward. The duo’s Watergate reporting was so famous that in 1976, it was depicted in the Hollywood film “All the President’s Men” (starring Dustin Hoffman as Bernstein and Robert Redford as Woodward). But Bernstein had a career in journalism before Watergate, and in “Chasing History,” he remembers being hired by the Washington Star when he was only 16 back in 1960. Speaking to Jong-Fast, Bernstein complained that today’s reporters aren’t outgoing enough. “People don’t answer their telephones anymore,” Bernstein told Jong-Fast. “It’s not about doing most of the reporting on the telephone. It’s about...
    U.S. congressional candidate in Texas Wesley Hunt, and co-author of "Black Eye for America" Dr. Carol Swain joined "Fox & Friends" on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to discuss the life and legacy of civil rights icon over five decades after his tragic assassination.  ALVEDA KING REVEALS HOW TO BE MORE LIKE MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. IN 2022 In his appearance, Hunt, who is Black, told co-host Steve Doocy how his own family is a product of Dr. King's efforts.  "I'm actually running as a Republican in a Republican seat and a white majority district, and we are the clear front-runner here," Hunt stated. "And that's because here in Houston, the citizens are judging me by the content of my character, not by the color of my skin." "His dream is still alive today. Don't let the left tell you otherwise," Hunt continued. "This is still the greatest country in the world. We are progressing quite well and my family is a product of that dream." US President Lyndon B Johnson hands a pen to civil rights leader...
    Before the Donald Trump era, no one accused Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming of being a centrist — let alone a liberal or a progressive. But the arch-conservative congresswoman and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney has become an unlikely ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, playing a prominent role in Pelosi’s select committee on the January 6, 2021 insurrection. And MAGA Republicans are hoping to oust Rep. Cheney from the U.S. House of Representatives via a GOP congressional primary in Wyoming. One of them is far-right conspiracy theorist and Donald Trump devotee Frank Eathorne, who chairs the Wyoming Republican Party and is a member of the Oath Keepers militia. In an article published by the Daily Beast on January 17, reporter Sam Brodey explains, “Frank Eathorne, who was revealed in a leak last year to be one of 191 Wyoming-based members of the far-right militia group, was in Washington for protests on January 6. But Eathorne is no rank-and-file fringe crank; he is the sitting chairman of the Wyoming Republican Party. That role has made him one...
    Photo via Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images An analysis of America’s political trends shows that Democrats lost the advantage they had in 2021 — with the country now identifying as majority Republican. A new Gallup survey tracked the party affiliations of Americans throughout 2021. In the 1st quarter of the year, Gallup found that 49 percent of America leaned towards the Democrats while 40 percent favored the GOP — giving the Democrats their strongest advantage in the Gallup poll since 2012. While the data remained steady for Democrats in the 2nd quarter of 2021, their slice of the electorate went down to 45 percent by the 3rd quarter, while Republicans went up to 44 percent. And by the 4th quarter, Democrats were down to 42 percent while the Republicans overtook them at 47 percent. In all, the poll tracked 14 point negative shift for Democrats through the year. “Both the nine-point Democratic advantage in the first quarter and the five-point Republican edge in the fourth quarter are among the largest Gallup has measured for each party in any quarter since it began...
    Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb supports eliminating the filibuster. Now that Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have apparently torpedoed the Biden administration’s hopes for achieving anything substantive legislatively for the remainder of 2022 (at minimum), a new consensus has emerged among the Democratic rank and file that makes opposition to the filibuster an absolute litmus test for any Democratic hopeful to be elected to the Senate in the future. The frustration at seeing the entire Democratic agenda held hostage by a Republican Party clearly intent on obstructing, voter-suppressing, and gerrymandering itself into permanent minority rule has transformed and elevated what was once a “debate” about an arcane procedural mechanism into an existential imperative for Democrats. That consensus is evident in fundraising appeals from candidates for whom support of the filibuster would previously have been an accepted and not especially controversial fact, such as Rep.Tim Ryan, currently running for Senate in Ohio, and Rep. Conor Lamb, running for Senate in Pennsylvania.  xI will vote to end the filibuster.Republicans are abusing it to block voting rights & endanger our democracy. To block health...
    Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez took aim at President Joe Biden on Sunday, claiming his 'disastrous' policies are driving Hispanic voters out of the Democratic Party. She made the comments in an interview with Fox & Friends, less than a year until the midterm elections that will decide who controls Congress -- and largely, Biden's agenda -- for the latter half of the president's term. 'When you look at these numbers, it should be not a shock to anyone,' she said of why many Spanish-speaking Americans are joining the GOP. 'You have seen Hispanic voters are flocking to the Republican Party, and part of that is because they agree that we want to be the party.' Nuñez, the first Hispanic woman to be elected the Sunshine State's lieutenant governor, said they believe Republicans will give them 'freedom that will provide them opportunities for their families.' She also lashed out at Biden for his Justice Department's crackdown on public education settings late last year amid a rise in violent incidents at school board meetings and after a letter from the National School...
    The affluent suburb of Paradise Valley in Arizona is a traditional Republican stronghold. With multi-million-dollar homes dotting a desert filled with towering saguaro cactus plants, its residents enjoy a choice of more than half a dozen golf courses, discreet upmarket shopping centres and award-winning restaurants, all nestled against the spectacular backdrop of Camelback Mountain. Donald Trump stormed to victory here in 2016. Donald Trump at a North Carolina campaign rally in 2019. His fortunes have changed drastically since the deadly Capitol riot Paradise Valley is part of Maricopa County, an area of 2.1 million voters which includes the city of Phoenix and its outlying areas and which has voted Republican for as long as anyone can remember. Yet in 2020, Maricopa County delivered a bombshell when voters turned in droves against President Trump in favour of Democratic rival Joe Biden. 'It was seismic,' says life-long Republican Benny White, who unsuccessfully ran for local office and found himself being chased down driveways by furious residents branding him a 'Trumper'. 'People just turned against Trump. He became a visceral figure of hate....
    “When a Hollywood performer, lacking distinction even as an actor can become a leading war hawk candidate for the Presidency, only the irrationalities induced by a war psychosis can explain such a melancholy turn of events.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., November 1967. As the nation prepares to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the heels of President Joe Biden’s voting rights speech and the GOP pearl-clutching that followed it, it’s worth remembering that venerated Republican deity Ronald Reagan opposed the King holiday right up until the day he signed it, and made no bones about it at a press conference the day the law passed. Then-President Reagan held a press conference on October 19, 1983, the day the U.S. Senate passed the law creating a federal King holiday by a veto-proof margin of 78-22. At that press conference, Reagan fielded several questions about Dr. King, the answers to which failed to cover the Gipper in glory. Then-ABC News White House correspondent Sam Donaldson asked Reagan about then-Senator Jesse Helms‘ smear of Dr. King as a communist sympathizer. “Do...
     The upcoming hearings on the US Capitol riot will 'blow the roof off the House', Rep. Jamie Raskin has claimed. Speaking with a group of progressive activists on in a Zoom meeting on Thursday, Raskin previewed the hearings that the House of Representatives select committee on the riot plans to televise in the coming months. 'We are going to do everything we can to subpoena all the information we need and to enforce our subpoenas,' he said in the remarks first reported by Yahoo News. 'But even if we don't get every last person in there, we are going to have hearings that I believe will be compared to the Watergate hearings, because they are going to blow the roof off the House in terms of explaining to America what actually happened in the attack on our democracy.' 'I hope everybody will watch and I hope everybody will discuss it and then it will lead to a report that, I hope again, will be a game changer in terms of American history,' Raskin said. Speaking with a group of progressive activists...
    Republican candidates, current lawmakers, and those seeking re-election have all adopted one disturbing common theme to get themselves across the campaign threshold: support former President Donald Trump and echo all of his claims of voter fraud in exchange for his endorsement which comes with overwhelming exposure and support from his relatively large base. With the 2022 midterm elections fast approaching, NBC News' Jonathan Allen and Marc Caputo are now shedding light on Trump's "endorsement operation" and how it continues to give him the ability to exert power over the entire political party. Republican candidates and lawmakers have certain requirements that must be followed in order for them to acquire the former president's endorsement but the work doesn't stop there. "The most common theme of Trump's endorsements, particularly at the state level, is that he is backing candidates who have voiced support for his lie that the 2020 election was rigged against him," Allen and Caputo wrote. "Fifty-nine of the 91 have questioned the 2020 election results, according to an NBC News review, including those who voted against...
    (CNN)New York Republican Rep. John Katko's surprise retirement announcement Friday is simply the latest proof that there's no room in the Republican Party for people who are insufficiently loyal to former President Donald Trump. Katko is one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his actions (and inaction) during the January 6 riot at the US Capitol. He is now one of three -- Reps. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois are the others -- who have announced they will leave Congress at the end of this term. The reality for Republicans right now is that breaking with Trump -- especially in such a high-profile way as the impeachment vote -- is political poison. And the former President himself will try to make you drink it.Read More "1 down, 9 to go!" Trump said in a statement released after Gonzalez's announcement. "2 down, 8 to go!" he said following Kinzinger's decision. "Great news, another one bites the dust," the former President said in reaction to Katko's news. Putting aside the three retiring members, the...
    The 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President TrumpDonald TrumpGallego on Jan. 6 rioters: 'F--- them' Psaki: Why is GOP afraid of presidential debates? Democracy is on life support — and the GOP wants to pull the plug MORE after the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol have increasingly become pariahs as their party moves in the opposite direction.  When the 10 GOP House members, along with seven of the party’s senators, joined Democrats on Trump’s impeachment, they said the former president bore responsibility for inciting the mob of his supporters and was no longer fit for public office.  But a year later, those Republicans are finding themselves ostracized — and even facing death threats — for being out of step with a party that continues to embrace Trump.   Three of the 10 have decided not to run for reelection this year. The others are all facing Trump-allied primary challengers who accuse them of lacking fealty to the most influential figure in the GOP.  And Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyHouse Jan. 6 committee pushes back...
    It is difficult if not impossible to solve a problem when one lacks the language to properly describe and understand it. That problem is made worse if the language is available but people refuse to use it. In the Age of Trump, too many members of the American mainstream news media and the larger political class have either forgotten or never learned that commonsense wisdom. In a recent interview with historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat, bestselling author and intelligence expert Malcolm Nance described this situation:New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow recently tweeted that we're in collective denial. That we are standing on the precipice. That the American experiment is about to end. I have been screaming this from the rooftops.As for the news media, they're not like ostriches with their heads in the sand. They are literally living a pie-in-the-sky life where, if you live in New York City and Donald Trump does horrible things, the bodega still has flowers. You can still go and get a sandwich in 2 in the morning. You can still get an Uber. It's almost...
    Alex Wong/Getty Rep. John Katko (R-NY) became the latest House member on Friday to announce he will not seek reelection. Katko joined 28 of his House colleagues in announcing he will not seek reelection, which is the most since 29 called it quits in 1996. Katko, who was in line to take over the House Homeland Security Committee if the GOP were to flip the House in 2022, is now one of three Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump that has retired. Katko joins Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) in heading for the exits. Trump celebrated the news, in a widely released statement, saying, “Great news, another one bites the dust. Katko, from Upstate New York, is gone!” Katko, along with the other ten members who voted to impeach, has been under fire from Trump and the Republican base ever since. In late November, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) called for Katko to be kicked out of the Republican conference for his support of Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill, saying he “is not a Republican,...
    x Vimeo Video (Psst… If you like my work, think about supporting me over on Patreon:-) What makes democracy less democratic? Why, the Senate filibuster rule of course! We’re hearing quite a bit about the filibuster these days because it is what is keeping Democrats in Congress from passing essential voting rights legislation. (You know, the legislation that is vital because Republicans in Washington, D.C. and in statehouses across the country seem determined to subvert our elections.) The filibuster — found nowhere in the U.S. Constitution but sitting in the convoluted morass of official Senate Rules — is what makes just about all current legislation passing through the Senate require 60 votes to pass. As you can imagine, with Democrats having a very narrow majority and the Republican party taken over by conspiracy-minded Trumpists, that supermajority requirement makes it very hard to get anything done. Even previously bipartisan initiatives like, oh, voting and democracy, go nowhere. Since there is a real risk of the Republican Party further undermining democracy, Joe Biden and most of the Democrats in Congress...
    The Republican Party is a 'front for a terrorist movement,' MSNBC contributor and controversial political scientist Dr. Jason Johnson argued on the network Thursday, comparing the GOP to a 'terror cell.'  Dr. Johnson made an appearance on 'Deadline: White House,' where he proceeded to make the brazen comparison while discussing the relationship between former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party as the 2024 presidential election draws ever near. Dr. Johnson referred to Trump as 'the bad guy' and called the Republican Party itself a 'front for a terrorist movement.' 'If Trump is on the ballot in 2024, it's the easiest thing in the world for Democrats because you can always run against the bad guy,' Johnson said. 'But I think the bigger more dangerous thing, and I've been saying for a while, I'm working hard to never say "Republican Party" again because it's not a party.'  'The GOP is no longer a governing party and news outlets should stop using that term.'  The author, who is a paid contributor to MSNBC, was temporarily removed from the network back in February...
    The KN95 masks distributed to members of the House of Representatives to wear on the chamber floor are branded 'Made in China,' a recent photo shows, the same country where the coronavirus originated. The picture, which was first obtained by Fox News, shows one of the distributed masks that are now required to be worn in order to enter the House floor.  The mandate is a result of the House physician, who recently directed lawmakers to explicitly wear an N95 or KN95 mask and not a cloth one.   Representative Andy Biggs, R-Arizona, pointed out the cruel irony, telling Fox it was fitting 'for the Democrats to be handing out masks that were made in the same place the virus originated.'  SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO  Members of the House of Representatives now have to wear KN95 masks on the chamber floor were brandished with 'Made in China' on the side them, according to a recent photo first obtained by Fox News Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) speaks on the House floor back in October, before KN95 masks were made a requirement to...
    MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson said Thursday on MSNBC’s “Deadline” that the Republican Party is a “dime storefront” for a “terrorist movement.” Johnson compared the Republican Party to the Palestine Liberation Organization, which represents Palestine at the United Nations, and Hamas, a terrorist group that controls Gaza and has affiliations with the PLO. Johnson said, “We don’t know if Trump’s going to be on the ballot. If Trump is on the ballot in 2024, it’s the easiest thing in the world for Democrats because you can always run against the bad guy. But I think the bigger, more dangerous thing — and I have been saying this for a while — I’m working hard to never say Republican Party again because it’s not a party.” He continued, “They’re Sinn Féin to the IRA. They’re the PLO to Hamas. They are a dime storefront for a terrorist movement. They didn’t have a policy in 2020 except loyalty to Trump.” Johnson added, “They’re no longer a party. And so, nothing surprises me anymore. When it’s essentially a personality cult when there’s no difference between supporting Trump...
    Trump wasn't happy with the debates so he decided it was a conspiracy against him. Now that, too, is going to be an official party stance. Donald Trump and his far-right, anti-democracy allies have long since purged the Republican National Committee of anyone not willing to jump to attention no matter how ridiculous Dear Leader's demands might get, so this is hardly a surprise: The committee is now signaling that their candidate won't be participating in any presidential debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates, the nonprofit group tasked with organizing and hosting them. They're bowing out. That's the Republican National Committee (RNC) message in a letter to the commission obtained by The New York Times. Specifically, the RNC intends to make their presidential candidates sign a "pledge" to not appear in those debates. The reason? Well, Times reporter Maggie Haberman had to leave the most likely explanation out of her article and relegate it to Twitter, but Donald Trump was very put out with the way his own debates turned out in 2020, complaining bitterly that the debate...
    Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneySinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform Biden's FDA nominee advances through key Senate committee Harris says she doesn't care about 2024 'gossip' MORE (R-Utah) on Thursday said it “would be nuts” for the Republican National Committee (RNC) to block GOP candidates from attending debates run by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). The Utah Republican told Insider that barring Republicans from debates would prevent voters from hearing candidates “duke it out.” “The American people want to see candidates for president debating issues of consequence to them, and it provides a service to the country and to the people, to hear the prospective candidates of the two major parties duke it out,” he said. Romney’s comments came hours after RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDanielRonna Romney McDanielPsaki: Why is GOP afraid of presidential debates? RNC moves to require presidential candidates to skip traditional commission debates Inflation offers steep hike for Biden MORE alerted the CPD that the committee plans to require that GOP candidates do not take part in the commission's debates going forward. Romney, who is McDaniel’s uncle, was the Republican...
    (CNN)On Thursday, the Republican National Committee threatened to keep its 2024 presidential nominee from participating in the three traditional general election debates unless and until the debates are adjusted more to their liking. "So long as the [Commission on Presidential Debates] appears intent on stonewalling the meaningful reforms necessary to restore its credibility with the Republican Party as a fair and nonpartisan actor, the R.N.C. will take every step to ensure that future Republican presidential nominees are given that opportunity elsewhere," RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote in a letter to the commission. At the heart of McDaniel's demands are for the RNC to have much more say in who moderates the three general election debates between the two major-party nominees every four years. That demand echoes former President Donald Trump's complaints about the 2020 debate moderators, who, he insisted without any real evidence, were biased against him.Read More Trump refused to participate in the second scheduled debate in 2020 after the commission decided it should be held virtually to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. "The commission changed the debate style...
    MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson blasted the Republican Party on Thursday, comparing it to terrorist organizations. “I’m working hard to never say ‘Republican Party’ again because it’s not a party,” said Johnson during Deadline: White House on MSNBC. “They’re Sin Féin to the IRA. They’re the PLO to Hamas.” “They are the dime store front for a terrorist movement,” Johnson continued. The Sinn Fein is a party that historically was associated with the Irish Republican Army, or IRA, which conducted terrorist bombings during the 20th century while fighting for Irish independence from the rest of the United Kingdom. The Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO, was historically behind many notorious attacks of terrorism — including the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. Today the PLO officially represents the Palestinians at the UN and is led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas — who is also a member of Fatah. Hamas, labeled a terrorist group by the United States, controls Gaza and has loose affiliations with the PLO, but is a rival of Fatah and not a part of the organization as Johnson’s analogy...
    HANFORD – It’s been a year now, but in this Central Valley farm town, like the nation, the divide has only grown. Todd Cotta was working in his gun shop when a customer came in with the news about David Valadao, the Republican congressman for whom Cotta had campaigned across Kings County and beyond just months before. Bewildered, Cotta turned to his phone and tapped in a text message to a man he considered a friend. “Hey David. Somebody’s spreading a nasty (rumor) that you voted to impeach Trump,” Cotta wrote. “I certainly hope that’s not true.” Within seconds, Valadao responded. “It’s true.” The two haven’t talked since. And, really, neither have the two sides of the country. HANFORD, CA – January 10: Kings Gun and Archery Center owner Todd Cotta shows a text exchange from a year ago with U.S. Rep. David Valadao after the Republican congressman voted to impeach former President Trump in 2021. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)  A year after President Trump was impeached for a historic second time, few places better illustrate America’s lost middle...
    It's not Democrats vs. Republicans. It's democracy believers vs. anti-democracy believers After the Republican Party used provably false propaganda to both incite a violent insurrection and, when it failed, pass a flurry of state laws making voting more difficult and giving Republican officials more power to decide which votes would count and why, numerous U.S. companies put out statements condemning those moves as damaging to democracy. It was a rare case of corporate America deciding that Republican "business-friendly" policies, no matter how good they were, weren't going to boost profits as much as the party's aggressive anti-democratic stance threatened to crater them—or, less cynically, it was simply a bridge too far for corporate executives not personally invested in the party's new white nationalist stances. Many of those same companies were willing to put out statements specifically endorsing new federal legislation to protect voting rights—legislation that would bar some of the most egregious Republican moves. But there is, of course, a catch: With national Republican leaders insisting nearly to a person that they absolutely will not allow such protections to go...
    (CNN)The Republican National Committee said Thursday in a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates that it is prepared to "prohibit future Republican nominees from participating in CPD-sponsored debates" unless the commission makes a number of significant changes to its procedure.This story is breaking and will be updated.
    MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has recently done some in-depth, comprehensive reporting on far-right MAGA Republicans who, following the 2020 presidential election, tried to pass off “forgeries” as legitimate Electoral College documents in states that now-President Joe Biden won. The fake documents were no more legitimate than their claims that then-President Donald Trump won those states, one of which was Michigan. And copies of the fake documents from Michigan Republicans, according to Michigan’s MLive, have been given to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee on the January 6, 2021 insurrection. “Sixteen Republicans, including the current co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party, signed certificates asserting they were Michigan’s presidential electors and sent the illegitimate documents to the National Archive,” MLive reporter Malachi Barrett explains. “The unofficial documents were part of a failed Republican strategy to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in battleground states, which is under new scrutiny from a U.S. House panel and the Michigan Attorney General’s office.” The events that followed the 2020 presidential election were unprecedented in United States history. Never before had Republicans, after...
    When conservative commentator and Wisconsin GOP kingmaker Charlie Sykes put a little-known businessman on the map in 2010, Sykes thought he knew who he was turning into a Republican Party star. According to Sykes, this great hope for the GOP was a “solid, Midwestern, Wall Street Journal editorial page Republican.” His name was Ron Johnson. And in Sykes’ telling now, it would’ve been near-impossible to imagine the politician that Johnson became. To some extent, Johnson is still a walking Wall Street Journal editorial page. On Monday, he wrote in those pages that he will seek a third term representing Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate. In true RonJon form—as he’s colloquially referred to on Capitol Hill—Johnson initially vowed to serve only two terms. But staring at his self-imposed pink slip, Johnson declared that “America is in peril,” forcing him to seek another term in power to fight “the Democrats’ complete takeover of government and the disastrous policies they have already inflicted on America and the world.” The announcement instantly put Johnson at the top of Democrats’ 2022 target list and...
                 Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is scheduled to deliver his 2022 State of the State address Thursday. Kemp is up for reelection this year. The two Republicans who want Kemp’s job said the incumbent governor will deliver a speech that tries to make up for Kemp’s weaknesses as a candidate. The incumbent governor has fallen short on leadership skills and fallen short pushing hard enough for election integrity, said declared gubernatorial candidates Vernon Jones and David Perdue. Members of Kemp’s staff did not return The Georgia Star News’ request for comment Thursday. Jones said this year’s election prompted Kemp to release a laundry list of items to distribute to Georgians to secure Kemp’s reelection. “I am sure he will continue to plagiarize my platform of my contract with Georgia with his failing reelection campaign. He has become a copycat. He has been in hiding for three years, and now he wants to pass constitutional carry, use the surplus to cut state income taxes, and give a false attempt of standing up for Stacey Abrams. It’s a day late and...
    A columnist with The Los Angeles Times has declared that it is acceptable to ridicule the unvaccinated Orange County deputy district attorney for dying of COVID-19, writing: 'mockery is not necessarily the wrong reaction'. Michael Hiltzik, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author, on Monday turned his attention to the death of Kelly Ernby, 46. Ernby, a rising Republican star, died on January 2 of COVID-19.   Her husband, Axel Mattias Ernby, has since denounced his wife's choice to spurn the vaccination, and rally against vaccine mandates. 'She was NOT vaccinated. That's the problem,' he said, according to screenshots of his comments shared on social media.    Her death was greeted with derision on social media, and Hiltzik said it was appropriate. 'Mockery is not necessarily the wrong reaction to those who publicly mocked anti-COVID measures and encouraged others to follow suit, before they perished of the disease the dangers of which they belittled,' he wrote. Kelly Ernby, 46, died of COVID-19 on January 2. She is pictured pre-pandemic, in November 2019, speaking against vaccine mandates in California, arguing that compelling vaccinations against chicken...
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images The Republican Party of Nevada sent the National Archives a fake electoral certificate following the 2020 election which declared former President Donald Trump the winner of the state, even though Joe Biden won it. KLAS reported the documents were sent in December of 2020, about six weeks after the presidential election. David Charns of KLAS reported: The Nevada Republican Party sent the federal government documentation certifying the election for former President Donald Trump, even though the state’s real electors for President Joe Biden had already done the same, documents obtained by the 8 News Now I-Team indicate. … As the I-Team reported in December 2020, the Nevada Republican Party’s six electors signed paperwork signaling their support for Trump in a symbolic ceremony devoid of any legal merit. The event in Carson City coincided with the actual state-sanctioned tally on Dec. 14, 2020. The certificate read, in part, “We, the undersigned, being the duly elected and qualified electors for president and vice president of the United States of America from the State of Nevada, do hereby certify [Nevada’s...
    White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday called Republican criticism of Joe Biden's voting rights speech in Atlanta 'hilarious.' She defended the president after Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called Biden's speech 'profoundly, profoundly unpresidential' and GOP Senator Mitt Romney said Biden was taking the same 'tragic road' as Donald Trump in trying to undermine the credibility of American elections. 'I know there has been a lot of claims of the offensive nature of the speech yesterday, which is hilarious on many levels, given how many people sat silently over the last four years for the former president,' Psaki said when asked about the remarks at her daily press briefing. 'But I would note that in our view and the president's view, what is far more offensive is the effort to suppress people's basic right to exercise who they want to support and who they want to elect,' she noted. Romney voted for one count of Trump's impeachment for his role, for his role in inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.  Trump was ultimately acquitted by the...
    McCarthy once said Trump was responsible for the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Here's his chance to stand up for country over party. Kevin McCarthy once said former President Donald Trump bore responsibility for the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Now, investigators probing the deadly assault have asked the Republican House leader to take some responsibility of his own and voluntarily cooperate with a probe into the insurrection that Trump incited.  The committee did not subpoena McCarthy. Rather, they asked him to engage with the panel voluntarily for a meeting on Feb. 3 or 4. That offer may seem like an overly generous maneuver and could understandably frustrate watchers of the probe but as Thompson pointed out already this week, the committee is still untangling whether it has the legal ability to subpoena fellow lawmakers under the Constitution.   McCarthy is now the third lawmaker to be called upon in the probe. Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania received letters last month. Both have indicated they will not cooperate and hopes are not high that McCarthy will cooperate either given his very...
    Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz's ex-girlfriend reportedly on Wednesday appeared before a federal grand jury investigating him for sex crimes.   According to NBC News, his ex, whose name was withheld to protect her privacy, has been in talks with federal prosecutors for months to avoid prosecution for obstruction of justice in return for testifying in an investigation into whether he paid for sex with a 17-year-old. NBC also reported that prosecutors were investigating three separate crimes: Sex trafficking; violating the Mann Act, which bans taking prostitutes across state lines; and obstructing justice.  Investigators are reportedly examining a phone call between Gaetz, his ex and another woman - who recorded the call and was cooperating with federal investigators - to establish whether it amounted to obstructing justice. Gaetz has not been charged with any crime and has denied all the accusations. Instead, he has dismissed the investigation as a 'witch hunt.'  Isabelle Kirshner, one of his lawyers, told DailyMail.com on Wednesday: 'We have seen no credible basis for a charge against Congressman Gaetz.  'We remain steadfast in our commitment to challenge any allegations with...
    West Virginia's governor said he feels 'extremely unwell' after testing positive for COVID-19, forcing the Republican to cancel his State of the State address scheduled for Wednesday.  Jim Justice, 70, who is vaccinated and had a booster shot, tested positive for the virus Tuesday after developing a cough and congestion. He took a rapid antigen test that came back negative, but the more thorough PCR test came back positive.  'While I was surprised that my test results came back positive, I'm thankful to the Lord above that I've been vaccinated, I've been boosted, and that I have an incredible support system, especially my loving family,' the governor said in a statement on Tuesday.  'That being said, I feel extremely unwell at this point, and I have no choice but to postpone my State of the State address to the Legislature.'   The state has seen cases spike as the more mild Omicron variant spreads through the country. On January 3, West Virginia recorded almost 10,000 new cases but the number of those infected dropped to around 2,500 on January 11. The seven-day...
    President Joe Biden capped his voting rights trip to Atlanta Tuesday by framing the fight as a battle between good and evil and endorsed reforming the Senate filibuster if Republican lawmakers won't side with Democrats to pass voting rights legislation. In particular, Biden reiterated that the only way to safeguard democracy from "autocracy" and "Jim Crow 2.0" was for the Senate to pass the For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. "The next few days, when these bills come to a vote, will mark a turning point in this nation. Will we choose democracy over autocracy, light over shadow, justice over injustice? I know where I stand. I will not yield. I will not flinch," Biden proclaimed during his speech. "I will defend your right to vote and our democracy against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and so the question is: Where will the institution of the United States Senate stand?" White House officials said Georgia presented a special case in the voting rights debate. While the state was home to Martin Luther King Jr.,...
    (CNN)Senior Republicans are closing ranks behind Sen. Mike Rounds after he endured a scathing attack from former President Donald Trump for acknowledging the reality that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election. "I think Sen. Rounds told the truth about what happened in the 2020 election," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN on Tuesday. "And I agree with him." The back-and-forth is the latest sign that many Republicans -- particularly in the Senate -- are eager to move past the former President's obsession with the 2020 elections and instead focus on more fertile ground: The Biden agenda and their efforts to take back both houses of Congress in 2022. Yet, Trump continues to hover over the party given his outsize influence with the base, his close hold over House Republicans and his ability to generate attention over his outright falsehoods and conspiracies over the outcome of the 2020 election. That has prompted concerns among senior Republicans that his claims over the election could depress GOP voter turnout in the fall, something that a number of senators blame for costing...