Rep McCaul Says The Taliban Are Holding Americans Hostage At An Airport In Afghanistan

Rep Michael McCaul(R-TX), the top Republican in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, appeared on Fox News Sunday(09/05/2021), where he made the bombshell claim that the Taliban are holding Americans, already seated in planes and awaiting departure, hostage at the Mazar-i-Sharif Airport in Afghanistan.

Rep McCaul’s full interview on Fox News Sunday is available here, but the relevant clip is below

Rep McCaul told host Chris Wallace: “We have six airplanes at Mazar-i-Sharif Airport, six airplanes, with American citizens on them as I speak, also with these interpreters, and the Taliban is holding them hostage for demands right now. State[Department] has cleared these flights, and the Taliban will not let them leave the airport…And that’s my concern…they[Taliban] are going to demand more and more, whether it be cash, or legitimacy as the government of Afghanistan…This is really turning into a hostage situation, where they are not going to allow American citizens to leave until they get full recognition from the United States of America.”

Needless to say, Americans being held hostage in a hostile foreign nation, will always be a big deal, or as TeamBiden would say, a “bfd”. It will be interesting to see how the Biden administration addresses this bombshell claim by the ranking Republican in the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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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 MoCs Voted Not To Impeach Trump Out Of Fear For Their Safety

A bombshell audio of Rep Liz Cheney(R-WY) obtained by CNN from an Axe Files podcast interview, confirms what many have feared all along, and that is, some Republican members of Congress voted not to impeach former President Trump after the January 6th DC insurrection because they were afraid for their personal safety and that of their families. Questions about Republican members of Congress operating under duress under the Trump administration, have been floated by authoritarianism scholars like Sarah Kendzior, among others, but received with much skepticism by the mainstream media. The fact that Rep Liz Cheney, a sitting member of Congress, is now publicly confirming such claims, should be a source of great concern for every democracy-loving American.

The full CNN segment is available here, but the relevant clip is below

In the audio, Rep Cheney is heard saying, “I’ve had a number of members[of Congress]say to me things like, you know, we would have voted to impeach, but we were concerned about our security…I think that’s a very important point to pause and contemplate, that you have members of the United States House of Representatives for whom security, their personal security or their family’s security, their concerns about that affected the way they felt they could vote, That’s a really significant thing to say about the current state of our politics.”

Bottom line folks, it is one thing when liberal anti-Trumpers level blackmail accusations against Trump sycophants, but when such accusations are being stated publicly by a sitting member of Congress(Rep Cheney), who says her colleagues have personally expressed such fears to her, then this is an issue that deserves greater scrutiny. Simply put, no member of Congress should be making decisions that affect the lives of their constituents, based on fear for their personal safety, or that of their family. This is patently un-American.

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NYT’s Maggie Haberman Ensnared In Feud Over Trump Inaugural Funds

Melania Trump with Stephanie Winston Wolkoff

In case you missed it, the Trump inaugural saga has taken a new, and very interesting twist lately, with now Twitter-active Stephanie Winston Wolkoff taking a direct shot at Maggie Haberman and Ken Vogel of the New York Times(NYT), as being part of the plot to throw her under the bus.

You’ll remember that after the bombshell revelation that a staggering $40 million of Trump’s inaugural funds had mysteriously disappeared, there was an effort by Trump’s allies to pin the blame on then First Lady Melania Trump’s Senior Advisor Stephanie Winston Wolkoff. Stephanie Wolkoff talked about this effort to throw her under the bus at an appearance on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show on September 1, 2020.

In the interview, a visibly upset Stephanie Wolkoff told host Maddow, that then First Lady Melania Trump basically told her she had to be the fall person for the Trump inaugural scandal. Wolkoff specifically said, “Melania and the [Trump]White House had accused me of criminal activity, then publicly shamed and fired me, and made me their scapegoat. At that moment in time, that’s when I pressed record. She was no longer my friend, and she was willing to let them take me down, and she told me herself, that this is the way it has to be. She was advised by the attorneys at the White House that there was no other choice because there was a possible investigation into the presidential inauguration committee….At first I really did think maybe she would come to my aid? Maybe she would tell the truth? She turned her back, she did. She folded like a deck of cards., and I’m shocked she did it.”

This 05/23/2021 tweet however, shows that Stephanie Wolkoff is not only going after Trump and his allies in her effort to set the record straight regarding Trump’s inaugural, she’s also calling out NYT’s Maggie Haberman and Ken Vogel, as being part of the plot to destroy her. This, if proven, could turn out to be a huge scandal unto itself, given the fact that many liberals still blame the New York Times for Trump’s ascension to the White House. Specifically, many liberals believe NYT’s excessive coverage of the “email scandal”, weakened Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the final stretch of the 2016 campaign.

There’s no other way any reasonable person can interpret Stephanie Wolkoff’s tweet other than NYT’s Haberman and Vogel were doing Trump’s bidding when they wrote the referenced piece. This is especially so considering Wolkoff’s invocation of “SETUP. COVERUP. TAKEDOWN” in her tweet. For the record, accusations of “access journalism” against then White House reporter for the New York Times, Maggie Haberman, persisted throughout Trump’s presidency. Stephanie Wolkoff is not the first person drawing that inference.

Bottom line folks, Yours Truly is not accusing Maggie Haberman or Ken Vogel of any wrongdoing. By all accounts, these are serious journalists, who exhibit a high level of professionalism(my personal opinion). What Yours Truly is simply pointing out, is what any reasonable person presented with Stephanie Wolkoff’s recent tweet would conclude, and that is, Haberman and Vogel were in on the plot by Trump’s allies to throw her under the bus. It would be in everybody’s interest, especially Wolkoff who suffered greatly as a result of the Trump inaugural saga, if Haberman, Vogel or even the New York Times management, addressed this issue.

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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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Sen Lindsey Graham Hints Republicans May Impeach VP Kamala Harris If They Take Over The House

Senator Lindsey Graham on Fox News Sunday (02/14/2021)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared on Fox News Sunday on February 14th 2021 to talk about former President Trump’s acquittal by the U.S. Senate, which happened the preceding Saturday. Unsurprisingly, Sen Graham, second only to Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) as the staunchest Trumpers in the Senate, excused Trump’s conduct at his appearance on Fox News Sunday. Sen Graham however went a step further and told host Chris Wallace what he really came there to announce, and that is, should Republicans take back the House in 2022, they should immediately impeach VP Kamala Harris as payback for Trump’s latest impeachment.

Senator Graham said, I condemn what happened on January the 6th, but the process they[House Democrats] used to impeach this president[Trump] was an affront to rule of law…..We’ve opened pandora’s box to future presidents and if you use this model, I don’t know how Kamala Harris doesn’t get impeached if the Republicans take over the House, because she actually bailed out rioters, and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody’s head open. So we’ve opened pandora’s box and I’m sad for the country.” The full segment of Senator Graham’s interview is available here, but the relevant clip is below

Make no mistake about it, Senator Graham did not go on Fox News Sunday to throw out hypotheticals about future impeachments. He went there to instruct Republicans that if they take over the House in 2022, they must immediately initiate impeachment proceedings against VP Kamala Harris, to avenge his idol Trump. Sadly, this is what this once respected Senator from South Carolina has devolved to–an unabashed lackey for Trump. The same is true for Senator Ted Cruz, and God only knows what former President Trump has on them

Bottom line folks, Yours Truly has repeatedly stated that Trump did not do all the damage to this country during his presidency by himself. At every turn, he benefited from willing abettors like Senators Graham, Ted Cruz and numerous other members of Congress.

Where, as here, Sen Graham throws out hints about a possible impeachment of VP Kamala Harris, the mainstream media and politicos in Washington should interpret it for what it is–a directive from Trump through his trusted lieutenant Lindsey Graham, for House Republicans to impeach Kamala Harris at their earliest opportunity, as payback Trump’s second impeachment. Simply put, the mainstream media and Washington politicos should quit being “surprised” by the actions of Senators Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz, and start treating their pronouncements about Trump, as direct instructions from him.

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Republican Legislators In Oregon Subverting Democracy

A must read piece on Vox shines the light on a very troubling but growing pattern among state GOP lawmakers of crippling state legistature business whenever voters put Democrats in charge. Turns out in Oregon, where voters have recently given Democrats super majorities in both chambers of the state’s legislature, Republican legislators have resorted to sabotage–literally refusing to show up for work thereby crippling the legislature due to lack of quorum. As the Vox piece correctly points out, these tantrums by Republican legislators beg for mainstream media attention not only because they are patently undemocratic, but also because they are a good reflection of Trump’s GOP tactics.

Republican legislators in Oregon are apparently sabotaging the legislature’s business by not showing up for work because they are opposed to climate change bllls currently being pushed by the majority Democrats. According to the Vox piece, this is the fifth time in the last 10 months that Oregon state Republicans have resorted to this undemocratic sabotage tactic, having employed the same tactic when Democrats, exercising their electoral mandate, were pushing bills related to guns, forestry, the state budget and healthcare.

As the article correctly points out, this is not just a state GOP phenomenon, but rather an accurate depiction of the current state of mind of Trump’s GOP, especially when one looks at it in light of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s conduct.

We have witnessed time and time again where McConnell and other Republicans in Washington ram through partisan bills using the argument “elections matter”. They are currently ramming through partisan/unqualified federal judges using the same rationale. It is interesting how elections matter only when voters put Republicans in charge and are seemingly meaningless when Democrats take over.

Democrats nationwide are looking forward to the elections in November hoping that a Democratic House, Senate and White House will automatically lead to enactment of Democratic Party policies. However, going by this Vox piece, Democrats prevailing in the upcoming November polls may not be enough. Democrats should expect sabotage by Republican minorities in both state legislatures and Washington, and should start seriously calling out these undemocratic sabotage tactics.

Bottomline folks,as the Vox piece correctly points out, this troubling GOP trend begs for more maindtream media attention especially now that we are in an election year. Republicans both at the state level and in Washington, must not be allowed to make elections matter only when they have majorities while rendering them totally meaningless when voters give Democrats the majority. Simply put, this troubling, patently undemocratic sabotage tactic currently employed by the GOP must either end or get seriously called out by the mainstream media.

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Did Mueller Get Trump’s Tax Returns? Dems Must Ask

As America gets ready for Robert S. Mueller’s public testimony before Congress slated for Wednesday 7/24/2019, there are questions as to whether House Democrats will manage to squeeze any more information from him than what he has already provided in his 400 page report. Mueller has previously stated his objection to testifying before Congress pointing to his detailed 400 page report as his testimony. Concerns about him not being very forthcoming during his congressional testimony are therefore well placed.

There is one question however that House Democrats must ask Mueller when he testifies before them and that is whether or not he got Trump’s tax returns. If not, why didn’t he? Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) posed this question to Attorney General Barr during his confirmation hearing but Barr refused to answer telling Sen Klobuchar to ask Mueller instead.

Well, it turns out Democrats now have a perfect opportunity to get an answer to Sen Klobuchar’s very important question as to Trump’s tax returns and one hopes they will deliver on it.

Bottom line, Trump’s tax returns have been a major topic of interest for many Americans and they continue to be today. More importantly, reasonable people will agree that anybody looking into whether Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential elections would have looked into his tax returns to see whether he had any financial ties with Russia or people closely tied to the Russian government. Muerller therefore has an obligation to disclose to Americans whether or not he obtained Trump’s tax returns during his TrumpRussia investigation and if not, explain why his team concluded that such information was not relevant. Equally important, House Democrats must also find out if TeamMueller did indeed seek Trump’s tax returns but their efforts were rebuffed by the Trump administration. This goes to the whole “we fully cooperated” argument that we have become accustomed to from the Trump administration. Simply put, Democrats must put to rest all questions/concerns related to Trump’s tax returns when Mueller shows up before them.

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