AOC And Fellow House Democrats Want Annual Refugee Cap Raised To 200K

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) appeared on MSNBC’s ReidOut show(08/26/2021) to discuss the ongoing evacuation crisis in Afghanistan, and the plight of Afghan refugees currently trickling into the United States. Rep Ocasio-Cortez told host Joy Reid that she’s joining hands with about 70 other House Democrats, in urging the Biden administration to raise the annual refugee cap from the paltry 15,000 under former President Trump, to at least 200,000.

Rep Ocasio-Cortez told host Joy Reid:“When it comes to the devastation that we have seen in Afghanistan, the United States plays a role. We have a responsibility, and in order to… make good on the role that we have played in this violence, we have a responsibility to make a home for the people whose lives have been upended by interventionist U.S. foreign policy. And so, as a result, I’m proud to have co-written a letter with Rep Barbara Lee[D-CA], to ask and urge the Biden administration to, as they set their refugee quota, to make it no less that 200,000 in the upcoming year.”

You’ll remember the Trump administration dropped the annual refugee cap from 85,000 under President Obama, way down to a paltry 15,000.

Bottom line folks, as Rep Ocasio-Cortez correctly stated on ReidOut, we have a moral obligation to fulfill the promises we made to Afghans, whose help we enlisted in the fight against terrorism, and whose lives have been upended by the current state of affairs under Taliban rule. The least we can do, is raise our paltry annual refugee cap to at least 200,000, so that we can admit into the United States, as many of our Afghan allies as is possible. It’s also the moral thing to do, and one sincerely hopes the Biden administration will grant Rep Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow House Democrats, their noble request.

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Shontel Brown Credits Endorsements By Hillary Clinton And Whip Clyburn For OH-11 Primary Win

Shontel Brown was on MSNBC’s Politics Nation (08/07/2021), where she credited her recent win in the OH-11 Democratic primary to endorsements from powerful establishment Democrats Hillary Clinton and House Majority Whip James Clyburn. Polls leading up to the 08/03/2021 Democratic primary had Progressive firebrand Nina Turner, backed by Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders and other leading Progressives, leading Brown in the race. This is why Brown’s primary win was considered by many, an upset.

Shontel Brown told host Al Sharpton:“If all politics is local, I’m as local as it gets…We knew that this was a local race. Having the support of local city council members, school board members, precinct committee folks, that was our path to victory. But I will say, getting the attention and the support of someone like Hillary Clinton certainly reshaped the narrative and got a lot of national support, and after that the ball just started rolling. Whip [James] Clyburn also endorsed my candidacy, the CBC endorsed my candidacy. Right after that, the AFT and the Teamsters came on board…”

Brown then went on to tout her winning political record, even before the high-powered endorsements, telling host Sharpton:“Let the record reflect, we always saw a path to victory, and I say this as calmly and respectfully as I can. I never got into this race with the expectation to do anything other than winning. I have six wins under my belt and Lord willing, on November, this will be my seventh. Anyone who knows me, seven is a number that I strongly believe in as a child of faith. It represents perfection, completion in God. And so I believed from the very beginning that this was my race…”

During the interview, Brown repeatedly avoided delving into the Progressive versus establishment Democrats divide which characterized her primary race, instead reiterating that voters are primarily interested in a candidate who can deliver results, not their political label.

For the record, Yours Truly was already sold on Shontel Brown as a solid Dem candidate, but after hearing her nailing it on the deep spiritual significance of the number seven, she instantly became one of my favorite Democrats, and hopefully in November, one of my favorite House Democrats.

Bottom line folks, as Shontel Brown correctly pointed out, too much is often made of the divide between Progressives and establishment Democrats, when at the end of the day, voters just want capable, even-keeled candidates who can deliver results. After watching Brown’s interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett right after her win, and this one on MSNBC, it is difficult to still consider her win an upset. Yours Truly will leave it at that so as not to ruffle feathers, but I suspect you get the drift.

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AOC Says States Have Only Doled Out $3B Of The $46B Congress Provided For Eviction Relief

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) appeared on CNN’s State Of The Union(SOTU) show (08/01/2021), where she discussed among other things, the failure by her fellow House Democrats to extend the federal eviction moratorium before leaving Washington for the August recess. Rep Ocasio-Cortez made a startling revelation at the interview, saying that out of the $46 billion Congress allocated to the states for eviction relief, only $3 billion has actually been doled out to assist struggling renters, adding that some Governors, presumably Republican, are “slow-walking” the process. The full CNN interview is available here, but the relevant clip is below.

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez told host Jake Tapper:“This money was handed over by Congress and federal government to states and local municipalities to dole out. What that means then, is that each individual Governor is responsible for establishing these programs. I think that in some states, Governors and state administrations might be slow-walking this process to get it out, in other states it’s the administrative burden of setting it up, but there are states and municipalities that have been getting it right…but we cannot kick people out of their homes when our end of the bargain has not been fulfilled. Out of the $46 billion that has been allocated, only $3 billion has gone out to help renters and small mom and pop landlords.”

Think about that. As it currently stands, more than 90% of the funds Congress allocated to the states to assist families with their housing needs, are just laying around unused, as the intended recipients remain stressed out over eviction. This is either the height of cruelty, or incompetence by the state governments, or both.

Bottom line folks, there is zero excuse for a Governor, Democrat or Republican, to sit on federal eviction relief funds, knowing full well that we are staring at a potential mass eviction crisis, the likes of which we have never seen before. Even more troubling is the fact that the very same Rep Ocasio-Cortez, was way back in October 2020, sounding the very same mass eviction alarm. Simply put, any Governor needlessly sitting on the much-needed federal eviction dollars while struggling renters suffer, needs to be called out to the fullest.

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Handy List Of The 20 GOP Senators Up For Reelection In 2022

The 2022 midterm elections are fast approaching and Democrats cannot afford to lose both the House and the Senate to the GOP. Midterm elections traditionally favor the party out of power, so it’s reasonable to assume that Republicans have a good shot of recapturing both the House and the Senate in 2022. Recapturing the House especially favors Republicans given the fact that Republican-controlled states currently have an advantage when in comes to redistricting–they can add/redraw more congressional districts than Democrats.

Democrats however, cannot afford to lose the Senate, which is not affected by the redistricting process. If Democrats lose both the House and Senate in 2022, the Biden presidency will for all intents and purposes be over–at least until the 2024 general elections. Republicans are already abusing the filibuster to stifle President Biden’s legislative agenda, even without control of either chamber (House or Senate), so one can just imagine how reckless they will be, if they take over both the House and the Senate in 2022. Simply put, they will block all of President Biden’s legislative proposals and judicial nominations until the 2024 elections. The upcoming 2022 elections are therefore crucially important for the Biden-Harris agenda.

34 U.S. Senate seats are up in 2022. Out of these 34, 20 are currently held by Republicans, and 14 by Democrats. The map below gives a breakdown of the states where the 34 Senate elections will be held in 2022.

Republican Senators whose seats are up in 2022 include Richard Shelby(AL), Roy Blunt(MO), Rob Portman(OH), Pat Toomey(PA), Richard Burr(NC)–all of whom are retiring(open seats)–plus Lisa Murkowski(AL), Marco Rubio(FL), John Boozman(AR), Mike Crapo(ID), Todd Young(IN), Chuck Grassley(IA), Jerry Moran(KS), Rand Paul(KY), John Neely Kennedy(LA), John Hoeven(ND), James Lankford(OK), Tim Scott(SC), John Thune(SD), and Mike Lee(UT), Ron Johnson(WI)

Democrats are Mark Kelly(AZ), Alex Padilla(CA), **KDH SEAT, Michael Bennet(CO), Richard Blumenthal(CT), Raphael Warnock(GA), Brian Schatz(HI), Tammy Duckworth(IL), Chris Van Hollen(MD), Catherine Cortez Masto(NV), Maggie Hassan(NH), Charles Schumer(NY), Ron Wyden(OR), Patrick Leahy(VT) and Patty Murray(WA).

The U.S. Senate is currently tied at 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans so neither party can afford to lose a seat in 2022. Democrats have a good shot at picking up the open Pennsylvania seat, where incumbent Republican Pat Toomey is retiring. President Biden won Pennsylvania in 2020. Based on a recent Iowa poll showing unfavorable numbers for incumbent Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Senate seat may also be a potential pickup for Democrats. These two pickups for Democrats, would make up for the two Senate seats where they have the biggest vulnerability–Warnock’s Georgia seat, and Mark Kelly’s Arizona seat. While President Biden won both Georgia and Arizona in 2020, these two states have traditionally voted Republican in statewide elections.

Bottom line folks, even though the game plan for Democrats heading into the 2022 elections should be to retain both the House and Senate, special emphasis must be placed on retaining the Senate. Simply put, if the Biden-Harris administration is to survive beyond 2022, Dems must retain the Senate.

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GOP’s Deficit Arguments Have Become So Ridiculous, They’re Laughable–LITERALLY!!

Chris Wallace, the host of Fox News Sunday, laughs at Sen Roy Blunt’s ridiculous response to a question about deficits (4/4/2021)

Senator Roy Blunt(R-MO) appeared on Fox News Sunday (4/4/2021) where host Chris Wallace asked him a direct question as to whether Republicans had lost all credibility regarding deficits, given the way they allowed spending to balloon under Trump, even before the covid-19 pandemic. Host Chris Wallace was basically asking Senator Blunt why the public should take GOP’s opposition to President Biden’s infrastructure proposal seriously, given their spending habits under Trump.

Chris Wallace asked Sen Blunt: “During the Trump presidency, even before the pandemic, the national debt increased by more than $3 trillion, and in 2017, every Republican in the Senate including you, voted for the big Trump tax cuts, which cut revenue by almost one and half trillion dollars, so I guess the question is….hasn’t the Republican Party lost credibility on this issue?”

Even though Chris Wallace’s question was specifically directed at GOP spending under Trump before the pandemic, Senator Blunt’s entire response focused on GOP’s actions after the pandemic. This was such a ridiculous dodge by Senator Blunt, that Chris Wallace burst out laughing, reiterating for the record, “I just want to make it clear. When I talked about the increase in debt during the Trump years, I did it purposely before the pandemic started.”

Bottom line folks, this should serve as a message to Democrats out there, freaking out about a “GOP Tsunami in 2022” brought about by some imaginary “deficits backlash” due to President Biden’s infrastructure plan. As Senator Blunt’s performance on Fox News Sunday clearly shows, Republicans have no legs to stand on when it comes to deficits, given their actions under Trump. Voters will treat such arguments in 2022 the same way host Chris Wallace did–laugh them off. Simply put, Democrats must go big and bold on infrastructure.

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HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge Says Trump Admin Slashed Housing Budget By 40% During Covid

HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge dropped a bombshell on the 4/3/2021 edition of MSNBC’s Politics Nation show when she told host Reverend Al Sharpton, that the Trump administration, through Secretary Ben Carson, slashed the housing budget by a whopping 40% as the covid crisis was deepening.

Secretary Fudge told host Reverend Sharpton:“This is really going to shock you, I think, Rev. In his[Ben Carson]budget for the next year, he requested a reduction of 15% across the board, and a 40% reduction just in housing. We know how many people are on the edge of losing their homes, of losing their apartments, and he asks for a reduction of 40%. So that’s what we’re dealing with, someone who consistently for four years, devalued and disinvested in this agency. So we’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’re clearly up to the task. ”

Secretary Fudge’s full interview is available here but the relevant clip is below

Even though it is less talked about in the media during discussions about infrastructure, the department of housing and urban development(HUD), is one of the key planks of President Biden’s infrastructure plan, and will be crucial to whether the public consider’s the plan a success or failure, given the direct impact the department has on families. As Secretary Fudge put it, “Housing is one of the most important tenets of infrastructure in this nation. Without decent housing, all of the other things that we are working on are going to be more and more difficult to accomplish…there are resources here to build more than two million new housing units, to catch everyone up on their arrears, as well as to bring them current on their rents and their mortgages…So much of this is going to empower our neighborhoods, and give people the opportunity to change their station in life…It’s going to make sure we remove all of the lead pipes in this country, so that children don’t have to get lead in their water. It is a massive, but necessary piece of legislation.”

Bottom line folks, even though we reflexively think of transportation, and Secretary Pete Buttigieg in particular, every time the infrastructure topic comes up, there’s much more to infrastructure than transportation. If Congress passes Biden’s infrastructure plan, you can rest assured that Marcia Fudge will become a household name.

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Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Calling For A $10 Trillion Over 10 Years Infrastructure Plan

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) On The Rachel Maddow Show (03/31/2021)

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) appeared on the 03/31/2021 edition of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show(TRMS), to discuss the $2 trillion infrastructure plan President Biden had announced earlier the same day. Rep Ocasio-Cortez (aka AOC), told host Maddow that her Progressive colleagues in the House will “absolutely” push for a figure higher than the $2 trillion set out by President Biden, adding that her personal preference would be a $10 trillion over 10 years infrastructure plan.

AOC’s full interview on TRMS is available here, but the relevant clip is below.

Specifically, AOC told Maddow in response to a question as to whether Progressives in the House will push for a figure bigger than $2 trillion: “Absolutely. You know if we could wave a magic wand, and Progressives in the House were able to name any number and get it through, which obviously isn’t the case, but if we are looking at ideals and what we think is the actual investment that can create tens of millions of good union jobs in this country, that can shore up our healthcare, our infrastructure, our housing, and doing it in a way that draws down our carbon emissions to help us get in line with IPCC standards, we are talking about realistically, $10 trillion over 10 years.” AOC added that even though $10 trillion is an “eye popping” figure, it is not in any way unrealistic.

Basically, AOC’s message on TRMS was that even though House Progressives are very appreciative of President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, they are looking at the $2 trillion as a starting point, and not necessarily the ceiling. Progressives in the House will work hard for a higher figure. This promises to be quite an interesting battle in Congress, especially given the fact that in the recently passed American Rescue Plan(Covid), House negotiations began at $1.9 trillion and worked their way downwards. It appears for infrastructure, the House negotiations will begin at $2 trillion and possibly end up much higher. Will AOC’s $10 trillion wish come true? Hmm–time will tell.

Bottom line folks, as AOC correctly pointed out, if one considers the fact that for covid relief, Congress passed a one year $1.9 trillion package, it is not unreasonable to assume that for an infrastructure plan, we would need much more than the $2 trillion proposed by President Biden. It is a good thing that AOC threw the $10 trillion figure out there because it will inspire some imagination among House Democrats as to what’s possible–thinking big. Simply put, even though passing a “skinny” infrastructure plan is better than no infrastructure plan at all, House Democrats should not look at President Biden’s $2 trillion proposal as a limiting factor, but instead, like AOC, come up with their own imaginative ideas as to how to revamp our dilapidated infrastructure. All in all, let there be a robust infrastructure debate in Congress, and may the best ideas win.

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Senator Warren Calls For An End To The Filibuster Saying “It Was Born Of Racism”

Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on The ReidOut show (Monday 03/15/2021)

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) appeared on MSNBC’s The ReidOut show, where she repeated her call to fellow Senate Democrats to put an end to the filibuster. Sen Warren told host Joy Reid that one of the key reasons Democrats needed to end the filibuster was because “it was born of racism”, a factor which by itself, should end any and all further debate about preserving it. The full ReidOut segment is available here but the relevant clip is below.

Sen Warren told host Joy Reid;“Our [Democrats] problem is not just a $15 an hour minimum wage. Our problem is the filibuster, because it blocks us on everything that doesn’t fit through reconciliation. So, we really want to make changes to protect the vote…gun safety…immigration…child care, we have got to deal with the filibuster…..We just need to pitch the thing out. It was born of racism, and a way to try to keep the Southern Senators happy by giving them extraordinary power to be able to block any civil rights legislation, or any anti-lynching legislation, and that’s what it was used for right up until the mid 1960s. And now, [Senator]Mitch McConnell and the Republicans have resuscitated it with a vengeance, first to use it against President Obama, and have indicated they are going to use it against President Biden.”

Think about that, folks. The burning topic of debate among Senate Democrats right now, is whether or not to preserve the filibuster, which as Senator Warren correctly points out, was born of racism, and specifically tailored towards blocking minorities from making gains on the civil rights front. Coincidentally, Southern Senators in 2021, want to preserve the same filibuster so as to strip minorities, majority of whom identify as Democrats, of among other things, their sacred right to vote.

Simply put Senate Democrats, there can be no equivocating on this filibuster issue. It has to go. As Senator Warren correctly put it, “We [Democrats] are in Washington to fulfill our promise to the American people, to make this government work for them, not to give Mitch McConnell a veto.” Any Senate Democrat who votes to preserve the filibuster knowing full well such a decision hands Mitch McConnell a veto with which to will rob millions of minorities of their sacred right to vote, does not deserve their seat. Plain and simple!!

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Hillary Clinton’s Dire Russia Warning For 2020

In an interesting segment on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show, 2016 Dem presidential candidate Hillary Clinton issued a dire warning for Democrats as they head into 2020—all your policy proposals mean nothing unless you get to the bottom of the Russia problem. In essence, Clinton warned Democrats that the level of Russian election interference may have become so sophisticated that in 2020 they may actually be able to alter election results.

https://youtu.be/i1DAH4qS5wo

Specifically, Clinton said, “I’ve met with the candidates[Democrats] who are running this time, and answered their questions. I always tell them you can run the best campaign, you can be the person who gets the nomination, but unless we know how to protect our election from what happened before and what could happen again because there is greater sophistication about it, you could lose. And I don’t mean it to scare anybody, but I do want every candidate to understand that this remains a threat.” Maddow then interjected, “that they[Democrats] could lose at the hands of a foreign power, not that they could lose fair and square” to which Clinton responded, “That’s right.”

Bottom line, the argument that Democrats should worry more about the Russian threat to our elections is a common refrain from election integrity activists chief among them, the venerable Jennifer Cohn. Yours Truly has repeatedly lamented the lack of mainstream media coverage of the efforts by Jennifer Cohn and others. Now that a Dem heavyweight Hillary Clinton is raising similar concerns, hopefully the DNC and the mainstream media will take this issue seriously. Simply put, Russia altering our election results is not(never has been) a conspiracy theory.

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Trump Admin Declaring Migrant Parents Ineligible To Reunite With Their Own Children

Rachel Maddow yesterday did a segment about Trump administration’s infamous family separation policy. The segment was based on the day’s breaking news that House Democrats have issued a subpoena to the Trump Administration requesting all documents related to its family separation policy–the first subpoena by House Democrats to the Trump administration

In Maddow’s interview with Rep Karen Bass however, the California Dem dropped a major bombshell when she revealed that the Trump administration has empowered Border Patrol agents to unilaterally and arbitrarily declare migrant parents ineligible to reunify with their own children–a very shocking revelation .

Rep Bass told Maddow, “One of the things that concerns me a lot Rachel is this category of parents that were considered ineligible to reunify with their children. There is no basis for a Border Patrol agent to determine who is eligible or ineligible to be a parent. We do not treat children that way in the child welfare system when their parents have been charged with neglect and abuse, so why on earth would we do that to parents who have not had any charge like that at all?”

The full Maddow segment is available here but the relevant clip is below

It is shocking how much power the Trump administration has entrusted to Border Patrol agents and others to make arbitrary but highly consequential decisions affecting the lives of migrant families. Think about that folks, even a federal judge does not have the power to unilaterally and without any due process whatsoever, declare a migrant parent “ineligible” to reunite with their own children yet the Trump administration has empowered Border Patrol agents working under the auspices of DHS to do just that.

Yours Truly would be remiss if he didn’t give a shout out to our very own rookie Rep Sylvia Garcia, (H-Town pride) who during the House hearings asked the question every American parent would like to pose to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen if given the opportunity; “Did you ever just say this really goes against humanity, we should not be doing this to children? Did you think of your own child and what would happen if somebody took your child from you?” Rep Garcia’s question is what the mainstream media should pester each and every Trump administration official involved with this evil family separation policy.

Bottom line folks the Trump administration’s family separation policy will go down as one of the most inhumane, and yes, evil U.S. government policy ever, the latest exhibit being this bombshell revelation by Rep Karen Bass that Border Patrol agents are unilaterally and arbitrarily declaring migrant parents ineligible to reunify with their own children. Folks, this is totally unacceptable and we hope congressional Democrats and the mainstream media make it the big deal that it is

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