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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“Being A.O.C”: A CNN Special Featuring Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

CNN’s Dana Bash interviewing Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)

CNN’s Dana Bash did an hour-long special on Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) titled “BEING A.O.C”, which aired on 08/09/2021. As expected, “BEING A.O.C” ended up being quite an interesting and informative hour of television where viewers leaned a lot about AOC the young Latina, versus AOC the Congresswoman we are accustomed to seeing on TV. Yours Truly would have loved to drop the entire hour-long show here for your consumption, but because of copyright issues(the boatload of commercials), all Yours Truly can manage is chopping up the special and serving you the various segments, beginning with whether she plans to primary incumbent Dem Senator Schumer in 2022, and run for president in 2024.

AOC on why Fox News is so obsessed with her

AOC on the power of femininity

AOC on being misunderstood and hated by right wingers

AOC on striking a balance between her congressional duties and her desire to raise a family

AOC on being insulted by a Republican Congressman

AOC on taking down a powerful and loved Dem incumbent, and how this led to her cold reception by fellow Dems in Congress

Bottom line folks, AOC, like Trump(admit it libs), almost always makes for great TV, and Dana Bash’s special did not disappoint. Yours Truly gives Dana Bash an A+ grade(95%) instead of a full blown 100% grade because of this slight “ding”: She left out AOC’s stay in West Africa, where she reportedly even picked up the local language. I think viewers would have loved to hear about her experiences in Africa, and how they have affected who she is today.

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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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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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Drain The Swamp?Yeah Right. How Lobbyists Are Helping Trump Roll Back Regulations

Bombshell NYT piece goes into details of how the Trump administration, with the help of lobbyists tied to the fossil fuel industry (oil and gas), is rolling back environmental regulations and in so doing, seriously jeopardizing the public’s health and safety. These environmental regulations affect everything– from the air we breathe, the water we drink, to the toxic(potentially carcinogenic) substances we may be exposed to as a result of petrochemical processes.

Trump who was elected President largely because of his signature promise to “drain the swamp”(end corruption) in Washington, has apparently created his own swamp of oil and gas lobbyists who are tearing down environmental regulations they deem a hindrance to maximizing profits.

Yeah, you read that right–oil and gas lobbyists are helping the Trump administration to tear down environmental regulations so that the companies they represent can maximize profits–public health and safety be damned. This is public corruption at its worst and as “swampy” as it gets.

According to the New York Times piece the Trump admin has to date rolled back 95 environmental regulations, 58 of them completely and 37 still in the roll back process.

16 environmental regulations related to air pollution and emissions have already been completely rolled back with 9 more still in the roll back process

10 regulations related to drilling and extractions have already been completely rolled back with 9 more still in the roll back process.

As for regulations related to infranstructure and planning, 11 regulations have already been completely rolled back with 1 more still in the roll back process.

7 regulations related to animals have already been completely rolled back with 3 more still in the roll back process. 5 regulations related to toxic substances have already been rolled back with 3 still in the roll back process.

4 regulations related to water pollution have already been completely rolled back with 6 more still in the roll back process. According to the NYT piece, there are 11 other environmental regulations the Trump administration has tinkered with, 5 of which have completely been rolled back and 6 still in the roll back process.

Bottom line folks, there are already very many reasons for America to adopt Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ( AOC) Green New Deal(GND). As gifted as Rep AOC is in promoting her GND, she rarely cites corruption in the oil and gas industry as one of the central reasons why the country should adopt her plan. Hopefully this bombshell NYT piece will make her highlight corruption in the oil and gas industry as one of the primary reasons why America needs the green new deal. Simply put, AOC’s GND will once and for all, drain the swamp that is the oil and gas lobby.

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Unmarked And Unfenced EPA Super Fund Site In Texas

A shocking Fox26 Houston report says that the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) has for years ran an unmarked and unfenced super fund site in the Texas city of Cypress located 24 miles north west of Houston.

According to Fox26 Houston a negligent Texas dry cleaning company dumped the dangerous chemical tetrachloroethylene, a carcinogen, at this unmarked and unfenced site in Cypress Texas for 14 years(1988-2002) and the carcinogen has since sipped into the area’s water wells. Numerous Cypress Texas residents have since been diagnosed with cancer related to the chemical meaning this is a serious and existential environmental hazard. Environmental activist Pam Bonta says, “We are seeing a lot of cancer and illness. We requested that they [EPA] revisit this. We demanded that they get it cleaned up because people are dying, bottom-line.”

Another environmental activist Becky Romano said “You walk on the property and you just smell the gas. You feel it in your body and it just makes you sick.”

Even more troubling, it appears the Texas company dumped this dangerous chemical right around the corner where a Cypress strip mall is currently located. Given the number of people that frequent such strip malls in small cities like Cypress, it is fair to assume that there are a lot of Cypress residents still being exposed to this carcinogen on a daily basis. EPA says it will take two years to make the site safe.

Bottom line the dangerous environmental situation playing out in Cypress Texas once again underscores the need to reign in the EPA especially in GOP-controlled states like Texas where the push for deregulation is literally endangering people’s lives. Hopefully House Democrats will soon haul in EPA officials responsible for this Cypress super fund site for some tough grilling as to how a site as dangerous as this is not even fenced and clearly marked as such. This is gross recklessness for which someone at EPA should either be fired or criminally prosecuted.

AOC Exposes FBI’s Terrorism Double Standard

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) grilling the Assistant Director of FBI’s Counter-Terrorism Division Michael McGarrity

In one of her most stunning congressional performances yet, Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) grilled FBI’s Assistant Director of Counterterrorism Michael McGarrity on the double standard with which the bureau charges non-White perpetrators as terrorists, while pursuing equally violent White supremacists only with hate crimes–with far fewer legal consequences.

There is no question that FBI’s double standard when it comes to terrorism has to be addressed. However, Rep Ocasio-Cortez and other members of Congress should not focus solely on who gets charged with what statute and instead dig into an even more troubling and still very under-covered topic by the mainstream media and that is, the increasing designation by the FBI/DHS of non-White activists in major urban centers(New York, Houston, LA, Chicago etc) as terrorists or radicalized extremists who then end up on their surveillance lists. Americans will be shocked to find out that even mundane activities like participating in/being an organizer of a Black Lives Matter rally, or Tweeting under “TheResistance” hashtag (#TheResistance)–all activities protected by the 1st amendment–could land someone in these obscure FBI/DHS surveillance lists.

Therefore members of Congress should not be singularly focused on who gets charged with what statute but rather the arbitrariness with which non-White political activists in major cities are increasingly getting caught up in FBI/DHS surveillance dragnets. These kinds of surveillance have disastrous effects on people’s lives whether they result in criminal charges or not, meaning absolute care must be taken to ensure the wrong people don’t end up in these dragnets. It certainly appears given the exchange between Rep Ocasio-Cortez and A.D. McGarrity, that it is infinitely easier for a non-White person to be designated and therefore investigated for terrorism than a similarly situated White person. These seemingly racist/bigoted surveillance policies should greatly trouble members of Congress.

Bottom line, Americans entrust the FBI and DHS with enormous investigative powers including but not limited to, the deterrence of terrorism. AOC and her fellow members of Congress have a duty to step in and ensure that these powerful agencies are not arbitrarily designating minority political activists as terrorism suspects and subjecting them to unjustified long-term surveillance for engaging in constitutionally protected speech.

Ivanka Slams AOC’S Green New Deal

In a Fox News interview Ivanka Trump attacked Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (aka AOC) Green New Deal initiative making the shocking argument that most Americans are opposed to the initiative’s guarantee of a job with a livable wage–a guaranteed minimum of $15/hour.

Ivanka said, “I don’t think most Americans in their heart want to be given something….people want to work for what they got. So I think this idea of a guaranteed minimum is not something most people want. They want the ability to be able to secure a job, they want the ability to live in a country where there is a potential for upwards mobility.”

While this may not necessarily be a controversial point if its advanced by any other conservative, it is kind of shocking coming from Ivanka whose White House job many consider “given”. In other words, the argument Ivanka is making against AOC’s Green New Deal is routinely made by many other conservatives. However hearing it from her, someone who has literally “got” everything from her rich dad, just makes the argument almost insulting. And yeah Ivanka, given the fact that the cost of living has steadily risen over the years while wages have remained stagnant, a lot of working families are eager for $15/hour jobs which they deserve as opposed to being “given”. These are jobs that will make them keep up with the rising costs of living, something Ivanka probably never had to deal with.

It bears pointing out however that Ivanka is very media savvy. As the president’s daughter she is a very beloved figure on the right. She knows AOC is a very beloved figure on the left. So there’s a very good chance that she deliberately went after her Green New Deal in an effort to generate fireworks both on the left and right thereby giving her publicity. As they say in media circles, “no publicity is bad publicity”. It will be interesting to see the blowback Ivanka’s stunning remarks generate from the left, especially from the aforementioned AOC.

Bottom line nobody seriously believes that in her heart of hearts Ivanka thinks working families currently earning less than $15/hour would not appreciate a wage hike. Yours Truly will go out on a limb and say this is a publicity stunt on Ivanka’s part–a very clever one at that.

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