Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick Defends State’s Controversial Abortion Law

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick(R-TX) appeared on Fox News’ Ingraham Angle show(09/02/2021) to defend the controversial Texas abortion bill(SB8), which the U.S. Supreme Court recently allowed to stand. Lt. Gov Patrick told fill-in host Jason Chaffetz that SB8 is simply meant to punish doctors in Texas who perform abortions after detecting a heartbeat.

Lt. Governor Patrick specifically said: “The Supreme Court said in Roe v Wade…that the state has a legitimate interest in protecting the potentiality of life, and that’s what SB8 does. When we pass this bill, we want to give that little Texan in the womb, who has a heartbeat, a chance to see their full potential. And so everyone who is speaking against this bill, obviously for whatever their reason, [is] very comfortable with taking the life of a little Texan who has a heartbeat. Our bill, which has everyone apoplectic on the left, simply says that any doctor who performs an abortion once that doctor detects a heartbeat, can be sued by any citizen in Texas, for up to $10,000, and anecdotally…what we hear now, our Planned Parenthood abortion centers around the state, have stopped doing abortions on little Texans with a heartbeat. That’s the purpose of SB8.”

Abortion has been, and continues to be, a very charged topic in U.S. politics. Yours Truly, the consummate “gentleman and scholar”, believes that it is in the public’s best interests, that the contours of the SB8 debate be clearly defined–that people know exactly what each side is arguing. It is very clear, that according to Lt. Governor Patrick, SB8 is meant to punish doctors in Texas, who perform an abortion, even after detecting a heartbeat. Whether one agrees or disagrees with that point of view is not the issue here. The important thing is that the public is very clear as to the Republican stance re SB8 versus the Dem/liberal stance. Everybody benefits from an informed debate.

It will be interesting to see how the fight over SB8 will play out in the months and years to come, and whether the conservative U.S. Supreme Court will ever entertain a challenge to SB8 on the merits. Until then, as Trump famously says, “We’ll see what happens.”

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Texas State Rep Exposes The Real Deal Behind GOP’s Voter Suppression Laws

Texas State Rep Jasmine Crockett On MSNBC’s Cross Connection show on 08/14/2021

Texas State Rep Jasmine Crockett, one of the Texas Democrats currently “in exile” in Washington DC, appeared on MSNBC’s Cross Connection show(08/14/2021), where she exposed the real deal behind Texas GOP’s voter suppression laws. Rep Crockett basically exposed what Texas residents have known all along, but is rarely mentioned in the national mainstream media, and that is, Texas is quickly becoming majority-minority state, and Texas Republicans, who are heavily dependent on the White vote, are freaking out. This, she correctly points out, is the real reason behind the Lone Star State’s voter suppression laws.

The full Cross Connection segment is available here, but the relevant clip is below.

Rep Crockett told host Tiffany Cross:“We have the real deal numbers[from the census], and it shows that over the last ten years, 95% of the growth in the state of Texas has been people of color…that’s absolutely true. When we look at Trump and Biden, he only lost Texas by five percentage points. That’s what scary. So they[TexasGOP]are saying wait a minute…we only added 180,000 Anglos in the last ten years, whereas Asian-Americans grew over half a million, Black-Americans grew over half a million, Latino-Americans grew over two million. So they are saying wait a minute, if we don’t do something now, then that floor[Texas Legislature]is going to start to look like what the state looks like. The state is a majority-minority state, and they don’t want that.”

Folks, if you miss everything else in the fight for voting rights currently playing out in Texas, do not miss what Texas Rep Jasmine Crockett said on the Cross Connection show. GOP’s freak-out over the dwindling White population in Texas is right at the heart of their voter suppression effort. The restrictive voting laws Texas Republicans are currently pushing, have zero to do with the integrity/security of the vote. It’s all an effort to keep as many Blacks and Browns as possible, from voting.

Bottom line folks, Democrats need to bring a lot of pressure to bear on Senators Joe Manchin(VA) and Kyrsten Sinema(AZ) who are still reluctant to get rid of the filibuster, despite it’s racist roots. They need to be told in no uncertain terms, that racism is at the center of GOP’s voter suppression efforts in Texas and other Republican states, and that by insisting on keeping the filibuster, they are complicit in GOP’s racism. Plain and simple!!

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Gov DeSantis Blames Florida Covid Surge On Migrants Coming Through the Texas-Mexico Border

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis On Fox News’ Ingraham Angle Show (08/04/2021)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis appeared on Fox News’ Ingraham Angle show(08/04/2021), where he made the ridiculous assertion that it is migrants coming through the Texas-Mexico border, who are to blame for the surge of covid-19’s delta variant in Florida. Yes, folks, Governor DeSantis, with a straight face, told host Laura Ingraham, that the Biden administration is apprehending covid-stricken migrants coming through the Texas-Mexico border, and shipping them to Florida.

Gov DeSantis’ full interview on Ingraham Angle is available here, but the relevant clip is below.

Gov DeSantis told host Laura Ingraham:“He[President Biden] is bringing in people from over a hundred different countries across the southern border. Every variant on this planet, some we don’t even know about, are absolutely coming into our country that way. What they are doing is, people are coming, and then they are farming them out all over the United States, putting them on buses, putting them on planes. So when he is lecturing people about imposing covid restrictions and lock down policies on the one hand, and yet not only doing nothing to stop the border surge, but actually facilitating it on the other hand, he just loses all credibility when it comes to covid.”

Governor DeSantis, noticing how ridiculous his assertion was, then tried to justify it, telling host Ingraham that migrants coming through the Texas-Mexico border have a particular affinity to Florida. He said, “I have[Florida] law enforcement there helping[Texas]Governor Abbott, and we’ve been there for a month, and they say of the illegal border crossers that they come in contact with, a majority of them are telling our guys that they want to end up in Florida…” Gov DeSantis’ totally made-up assertion that migrants coming through the Texas-Mexico border have a fixation with Florida was so ridiculous, even host Ingraham chuckled.

This is the kind of crazy talk one expects to hear from an obscure subreddit or Facebook page. However, when it is uttered by a Governor of a major U.S. state, one thought of as a serious presidential contender in 2024, it should be serious cause for alarm. It is not a lot to ask that a Governor of a major U.S. state like Florida, address a deadly global pandemic that has killed over half a million U.S. residents, and left many more with serious health complications, with the seriousness it deserves. Reasonable people will agree that Gov DeSantis’ argument, that the covid surge in Florida is caused by migrants shipped in from the Texas-Mexico border, is a totally frivolous argument, bordering on lunacy.

Bottom line folks, whether you are a Republican or Democrat, we are at a point where we can all agree that covid-19 is a deadly virus that demands serious attention from our leaders across the board. President Biden is absolutely correct in calling out Gov DeSantis for playing games in the face of this deadly pandemic, and urging him to either start leading, or step aside. Just so you know Governor DeSantis, there’s a very capable Floridian, ready and willing to take over, and help the Sunshine State defeat the deadly covid-19 pandemic.

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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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Fox News’ Hypocrisy Over Covid Vaccine Passports Exposed

Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Railing Against Covid Vaccine Passports To His Millions Of Viewers(06/01/21)

Turns out, per bombshell segment on CNN Newsroom (07/19/21), that the critical stance Fox News hosts routinely take regarding COVID-19 vaccine passports, is just another case of blatant hypocrisy by the network. Fox News has apparently had in place since June, a COVID-19 passport program, which means vaccine passport “critics” Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, are most likely fully vaccinated participants of the network’s vaccine passport program.

Senior Media Reporter Oliver Darcy said on CNN Newsroom: “This is more blatant hypocrisy from Fox News. Tucker Carlson, the main star over at Fox, he’s compared the idea of vaccine passports to Jim Crow laws, and other hosts have railed against the idea of vaccine passports–showing that you have received a vaccine and the employer being able to verify that. But Fox, we learn, has quietly back in June…rolled out a system where employees can input that they have received a vaccine, which dose of the vaccine they received, when they received it, and then they get special privileges. They don’t have to do the normal health screenings for instance, when they walk into the office. This is just more brazen hypocrisy from Fox.”

Think about that. There’s a very good chance that since June, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and other hosts at Fox News, have been discouraging their millions of viewers/followers from receiving the readily available COVID-19 vaccines, while hiding the fact that they, without hesitation, did what was best for the health and safety of their families–getting fully vaccinated. This is borderline criminal conduct by the Fox News hosts. CNN host Alisyn Camerota summed it best; “Some of the Fox hosts are vitriolic, but they are not crazy. They have been vaccinated. Chances are they have been vaccinated, they don’t want to die. But they don’t want to tell their viewers they have been vaccinated, so they have to rail against any sort of having to disclose if you have been vaccinated, or even [being] asked. I mean, Tucker has gone so far as to say it’s vulgar to ask someone if they have been vaccinated…”

Bottom line folks, there has to be some kind of retribution for the dangerous COVID-related lies that keep spewing out of Fox News. It is one thing for news hosts to express their philosophical opposition to vaccines on air, but it’s quite the other where, as here, the hosts are trashing a vaccine for a deadly disease, while hiding the fact that they have received it. The public must demand that Tucker Carlson, Hannity and Ingraham immediately disclose their COVID vaccination status, so their millions of viewers can fairly evaluate their criticism of the vaccines/vaccine passports. Anything short of this is borderline criminal misinformation, for which the hosts should be held accountable.

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Meeting Between Biden Admin Officials And Saudi Prince At Center Of Khashoggi Murder Raises Eyebrows

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Khalid bin Salman with Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan

Senior Biden administration officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, reportedly met with Saudi’s Prince Khalid bin Salman, who is the brother of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman(MBS), and former Ambassador to the United States. Prince Khalid’s high level welcome to the United States has naturally shocked and angered human rights activists because our very own CIA pinpointed him as one of the masterminds behind the killing of former Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Specifically, the CIA said that it was Prince Khalid who lured Khashoggi into the Istanbul consulate where he was later killed.

Washington Post Columnist and CNN Political Analyst Josh Rogin told New Day host John Berman:“The Biden administration is trying to have it’s cake and eat it too. They want to say that they are being tough on Saudi Arabia for it’s atrocious and worsening human rights record, at the same time they want to do business with Saudi Arabia on areas of mutual interest, and I get that. But the way that they decided to do that was by welcoming back the former Ambassador, Khalid bin Salman, the brother of Mohammed bin Salman[MBS], the guy who the CIA asserts was responsible for the murder and dismemberment of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi. And the allegation by the U.S. intelligence services, is that his brother Khalid lured him into the Istanbul consulate where he was later murdered…..So it seems like a weird thing to invite the guy who was connected to the murder back to have a bunch of pictures and give him the red carpet treatment, and let him meet with Defense Secretary and the National Security Adviser. It sends the signal to the Saudis, and to the region, and to the human rights community frankly, that the Biden administration’s protestations against Saudi atrocities are just that, just words, and not actions. It signals a return to business as usual….It also insults the legacy of Jamal Khashoggi, and reneges on Biden’s promise to deliver justice to Jamal and his family.”

Bottom line folks, for a Biden administration that is usually very fine-tuned and on-message, one has to admit that granting Prince Khalid a high profile welcome despite the CIA’s findings on Khashoggi’s murder, was quite an uncharacteristic blunder by the administration. More importantly, this blunder unnecessarily dings the Biden administration’s stance and messaging on human rights. Surely somebody at Biden’s White House should have foreseen and prevented this “unforced error” of immense magnitude.

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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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35 GOP Senators Who Voted Against A Bipartisan Jan 6th Commission

05/28/21 will be memorialized in History textbooks, as one of the most shameful days in U.S. Senate history, as 35 Republican Senators voted to kill via filibuster, a bill to establish a bipartisan commission to investigate what led to the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex, aka DC insurrection. The final vote tally was 54 yeas, 35 nays, with 11 Senators not voting. 60 yea votes were needed to overcome the filibuster.

The violent insurrection by former President Trump’s supporters on Jan 6th, was an attempt to stop a joint session of Congress from certifying the results of the electoral college, officially making Joseph R. Biden Jr the 46th President of the United States. During the violent insurrection, most of which played out on live TV, sitting members of Congress could be seen frightened for their lives, and being ushered into safety by Capitol Police officers. Five people lost their lives that day, including one Capitol Police officer, and many others had to be rushed to local DC hospitals with serious injuries.

January 6th 2021 will go down in history as one the lowest points in American democracy for several reasons, chief among them, the fact that it shattered America’s towering reputation around the world, as the only country where a peaceful transition of power was a guarantee, following every presidential election. On January 6th, the world watched with disbelief, on live TV, as violent Trump supporters fought to prevent the transition of power to the 2020 presidential election winner, Joe Biden.

Given the seriousness of the events that transpired on January 6th, any reasonable person would have expected U.S. Senators to vote overwhelmingly(all 100 of them) in support of establishing a bipartisan investigative commission, as has happened in previous national tragedies like the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001. Instead, 35 GOP Senators, out of fear of upsetting former President Trump, found a way to vote against such a commission–a total shame.

Because this is one of the most shameful votes in U.S. Senate history, It is only fair that the names and faces of the said GOP Senators be memorialized for future generations. Below is a handy list of the 35 Senators.

Bottom line folks, something is seriously wrong when sitting members of the United States Senate, whose very lives were threatened on January 6th, filibuster the formation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the incident, simply because they are afraid to upset former President Trump, whose election fraud lies led to the incident. It is not only the epitome of political cowardice, but a total dereliction of their oaths as U.S. Senators, to defend the U.S. Constitution. It also inevitably raises the question as to whether the 35 GOP Senators are trying to cover up their direct or indirect involvement with the violent 6th insurrection.

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Trump-Tied Dark Money Group Brags About Drafting Voter Suppression Laws

Heritage Action’s Executive Director Jessica Anderson addressing a group meeting

A leaked video obtained by Mother Jones, shows the shocking extent to which a Trump-tied dark money group, Heritage Action For America, is secretly engineering the recent spate of voter suppression laws in Republican-led states. This bombshell revelation, even though not quite surprising, should be a call to action for voting rights activists nationwide, and a reminder to Congressional Democrats, of the dire need for passage of HR1-For The People Act.

In the leaked video, Jessica Anderson, a former Trump administration official and now Executive Director of Heritage Action For America, can be heard talking to a group of donors in Tucson Arizona in late April, and admitting to conduct that leaves absolutely no doubt to any reasonable person, that her group is engineering the voter suppression laws currently springing up in Republican states across the country. She is essentially bragging to the donors about how Heritage Action is drafting voter suppression laws currently being enacted by Republican-led state legislatures.

She can be heard telling the donors, “Iowa is the first state we[Heritage Action] got to work in, and we did it quickly, and we did it quietly. Honestly, nobody noticed.”(see video at 1:05). No reasonable person presented with Jessica Anderson’s “nobody noticed” remarks, can ever conclude that Heritage Action went into Iowa with a mission other than sneaking through a voter suppression law.

Other alarming statements by Jessica Anderson to the GOP donors include;

“At the end of the day, the bill that Governor[Brian] Kemp signed, and the Georgia legislature marshalled through had eight key provisions that Heritage recommended.” (see video at 1:11)

“We are working with these state legislators to make sure they have all of the information they need to draft the bills. In some cases we actually draft them for them, or we have a sentinel on our behalf, give them the model legislation so it has that grassroots, from the bottom up, type of vibe.” (see video at 1:32). This is by far, the most damning part of Jessica Anderson’s presentation. She basically admits that Heritage Action is writing voter suppression laws for the states, and faking their grassroots appeal.

It also bears pointing out that this same Trump-tied dark money group, is also in the forefront of lobbying Congressional Republicans into blocking the HR1-For The People Act, currently being pushed by Congressional Democrats, which among other things, seeks to vastly expand voting rights for all Americans.

Bottom line folks, it appears Heritage Action is the vehicle Trump Republicans are using to push their voter suppression laws targeting minority voters. Voting rights activists in Texas and other emerging purple states, where the voting rights battle is already red hot, must come up with effective strategies to confront Heritage Action and other such right wing anti-democracy groups. Yours Truly is not an attorney, but is reasonable enough to know that some of the statements Jessica Anderson made to the GOP donors, can be very useful in federal lawsuits against these Republican voter suppression laws.

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