Senator Mitch McConnell Discusses Inflation Reduction Bill On Fox News’ Special Report Show

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appeared on Fox News Special Report w/Bret Baier (08/03/22) to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act currently being negotiated in the U.S. Senate. Senator McConnell said he found the way Democrats characterized the bill “laughable”, because in his opinion, the bill actually increases inflation. Senate Democrats appear poised to approve the measure on a straight party vote.

Senator McConnell said this about the Inflation Reduction Act (0:27): “First, I think all of us were somewhat shocked by Senator Manchin’s reversal of positions he’d taken as recently as last week, against raising taxes. This raises taxes, it increases the burden of taxation on lower income people significantly. Calling it inflation reduction bill is rather laughable. Independent analysis indicates it actually increases inflation in the next two years, and may have an impact over ten years, and their policies from last year have already produced 40-year high inflation, so it’s a terrible package. It appears as if they are all in line, but one, it will be up to Senator Sinema from Arizona, who’s quite independent, to determine what the final contours of the bill are.”

Asked about the charge by irate Republicans, that he was “played” by Democrats regarding the reconciliation bill, McConnell responded (1:28): “Reconciliation is something done by one party only. There’s nothing we could have done to prevent the Democrats from doing a bill that only they will vote for, so it’s not a question of being played here, what’s the story line here is that Senator Manchin had agreed to something that he had said publicly and privately over the last two weeks that he would never agree to. We’re not involved in the reconciliation bill. There won’t be a single Republican vote for it. There’s nothing we could do to deter it, other than to criticize it publicly, and that’s what we’re doing right here.”

Host Bret Baier then cornered Senator McConnell with a very interesting question as to why he has repeatedly cited renowned economists Larry Summers and Jason Furman on ways to tackle the current record inflation, yet now he refuses to follow their advice that the Inflation Reduction Act will help reduce inflation? Senator McConnell accused the economists of trying to appease President Biden. He specifically said (2:41):“The quotes they used me in, were Summers’ observations about what they [Biden Administration] did last year. Two trillion dollars they dumped on the economy, that both Furman and Summers predicted would produce rampant inflation, and it did. What they’ve done this year is kind of fall in line, and I assume they wanted to get back on the White House Christmas card list, but people who are not active Democrats, independent observers have said it has no impact on inflation, at all, over the long term, and actually increases it slightly in the short term. So Furman and Summers were certainly helpful as active Democrats in describing last year’s bill, but this year they’re sort of falling in line because I think they want to get back in the good grace of the White House.”

Asked about criticism from House Republicans, some of whom don’t want him as Senate Majority Leader any more, over what they perceive as him being “played” repeatedly by Democrats, and making President Biden look good, McConnell responded(3:55): “Well, I guess they’ve forgotten the Supreme Court that I’ve helped usher into–three new Supreme Court justices, the 2017 tax bill…I think just because you have closely divided government doesn’t mean you do nothing. The past two administrations tried to achieve bipartisan infrastructure, didn’t get it done, we needed to rescue the post office. Just because it’s a Democrat in the White House, I don’t think means Republicans should do nothing that’s good for the country. In the meantime, on the big issues, we are totally opposed to what this administration is trying to do, but on things like school safety, mental health, infrastructure, postal reform, why would we not want to make progress for the country no matter who’s in the White House?”

Asked about reservation by some Republicans, that expanding NATO to include Sweden and Finland, increases the likelihood of sending our troops into combat in Europe, Sen McConnell responded (5:08): “The NATO alliance is the most successful military alliance in world history. The way to prevent Americans from having to actively get involved in combat is to prevent it in the first place, and that’s what NATO is about. It won the cold war without firing a single shot. Putin has succeeded not only in actually expanding NATO and making it even more effective as a deterrent. Remember Reagan said peace through strength, and that’s what NATO is all about, and that’s why Finland and Sweden add a lot to NATO.”

Asked to pick between the Russia-Ukraine war, and the situation at our southern border, which one was a bigger national security threat to the United States, McConnell said both were threats that needed to be dealt with seriously–probably not the answer Fox News viewers obsessed with the southern border, wanted to hear.

Importantly, when asked about his earlier prediction that there would be a “red wave” in this year’s midterm elections, McConnell appears to have had a change of mind (probably due to Kansas), saying now that it will be a “very tight” election. McConnell specifically said (7:02): “I think it’s going to be very tight, we have a 50-50 Senate now, we have a 50-50 nation, and I think when the Senate race smoke clears, we are likely to have a very, very close Senate still, with either up slightly, or the Democrats up slightly”–a far cry from the “red wave” talk we heard earlier in the year from McConnell and his fellow Republicans.

Asked about the Kansas abortion vote heard around the world, McConnell responded (7:35): “I think what the Supreme Court has done is said people who are elected by the American people are going to deal with this highly sensitive issue, and it will be playing out all year, and I don’t think we really know until the end of the year, what kind of an impact putting this issue back into the hands of those of us who are elected, as opposed to nine unelected judges, will have on the country. We’re in the process of finding that out…It tells us that there are a lot of people interested in the issue in Kansas, there’s no question about that.”

Asked whether he would survive his leadership role if “Trumpified” candidates(J.D. Vance, Oz, Blake Masters, Ted Budd etc) win this November, Sen McConnell responded (8:37): “I’ve been elected eight times without opposition. I don’t own this job, and there’s always an election every two years for leader. If anybody wants to challenge me, have at it.” McConnell added that he will still hang on as Minority Leader if Republicans don’t take over the Senate this Fall.

Asked whether, given his lengthy career in the U.S. Senate, there is a single issue the modern Republican Party gets right, which the old Republican Party got wrong, McConnell was all over the place. He didn’t give an answer that specifically answered the question.

Bottom line folks, the key takeaway from Senator McConnell’s interview on Fox News is that the “red wave” fantasy is gone. Republicans now acknowledge that even with the challenging economic times, and President Biden’s low approval numbers, the 2022 midterm elections will be very competitive. Reasonable politicos will agree that given historical trends re midterms, the fact that Dems are even still in the ball game, tells you all you need to know about the state of affairs at Trump’s GOP. 

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Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Interview On CNN’s State Of The Union Show

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Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese appeared on CNN’s State of The Union show (07/31/22) for a wide ranging interview that touched on among other things climate change, and specifically, his pledge that Australia will achieve net zero carbon emission by 2050.

Asked whether Australia’s 2050 goal will be thwarted because of reluctance by India, China and the United States to come together, and address climate change with the urgency it deserves, PM Albanese responded(video at 0:38): “Well, I certainly hope not, and I’m very optimistic. At the Madrid NATO Summit, I had discussions with world leaders and also of course at the Quad leaders meeting, and I regard people as being very prepared to take much stronger action. There’s a greater recognition now as well, that dealing with the challenge of climate change represents also an economic opportunity. We will see the greatest transformation that we have seen in our economy since the industrial revolution, with the shift to clean energy, and clean energy will of course see jobs being created at the same time, something that the Biden administration recognizes, something that our European friends certainly recognize as well.”

Asked about the growing threat from China, and specifically, a troubling poll that shows 75% of Aussies believe China will attack Australia within the next 20 years, PM Albanese responded (1:44): “What we are preparing for is strengthening our alliances. We want to have good relationships with China and cooperate where we can, but we’ll stand up for Australian values where we must, and that is my approach to the relationship with China. Clearly it has changed in recent years. Under [President] Xi, China has become more forward-leaning, more aggressive in the region. We have strategic competition.”

Asked whether Australia would defend Taiwan if it was invaded by China, PM Albanese punted, saying he did not want to deal with hypotheticals. He then went on to say(2:38): “Australia supports a One China policy, but we also support the status quo when it comes to the issue of Taiwan, that people respect the existing structures which are there. I believe that clearly is in the interest of all parties, and I have taken the view as well, that it is not in the interest of peace and security, to talk up those issues of potential conflict.”

Asked what Australians think about “the health” of democracy the United States in light of the ongoing January 6th investigation, PM Albanese responded (3:57): “Democracy in the United States remains strong. The United States remains a beacon for the world in terms of democratic nations, I firmly believe that. And whilst the assault on democracy that we saw on January 6th was of real concern to all those who hold democratic processes dear around the world, the fact that you are having an open and transparent process, these hearings are being broadcast to the world, indeed underlies, in my view, the strength of U.S. democracy, the strength of those institutions.”

Asked what America can learn from Australia regarding how to deal with gun violence, PM Albanese responded(5:26): “In Australia we had a bipartisan response to the Port Arthur massacre, and we haven’t had once [mass shooting] since, and I just say that people should look at our experience. It’s up to the United States as a sovereign nation what direction it takes of course, but the truth is that Australia’s experience shows that less guns, particularly less automatic weapons, the less crime occurs, and the less tragedy occurs.”

Asked whether he supports the growing sentiment among Aussies to break away from the Queen of England and become a republic, PM Albanese responded(6:24): “Well, I do support a republic, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect the Queen, who has presided over the Commonwealth for 70 years, it’s quite an extraordinary achievement. Our priority this term, is the recognition of First Nations people in our constitution. Our history didn’t begin in 1788 with the arrival of the British First Fleet, it goes back some 65,000 years with Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander people, the oldest continuous civilization on the planet. It should be a source of great pride, and my priority is getting that constitutional change done first.” Hmm, very interesting.

Bottom line folks, interviews with world leaders are always interesting(at least to Your Truly-a nerd), because they give you a glimpse into how others view/deal with the same issues confronting us here in the United States. I think reasonable people will agree that by far, the biggest takeaway from PM Alabanese’s interview, is how politicians in Australia came together to stump out mass shootings after the Port Arthur massacre(1996). Simply put, there is zero excuse for the nonsense we get from Congress, when it comes to addressing gun violence in the United States. Zero!!

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Trump Accused Of “Sports Washing” Saudi Arabia’s Complicity In 9/11 Attacks

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Terry Strada, the National Chair of 9/11 Families United On MSNBC’s Alex Witt Reports(07/30/22)

MSNBC’s Liz McLaughlin reported on Alex Witt Reports show(07/30/22) that outraged families of the victims of the September 11th attacks(2001) are protesting the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tournament currently being held at former President Trump’s Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey. The protesters are essentially accusing former President Trump and the participating golfers, of “sports washing” Saudi Arabia’s role in the horrific 9/11 attacks, and their atrocious human rights record generally.

Asked by host Alex Witt, how the families were responding to the tournament, Liz McLaughlin responded (video at 0:31):“The families say they are disgusted, disappointed, that it feels like a gut punch after losing a loved one in that horrible act, to see a former President of the United States, who by the way, has the presidential seal emblazoned on golf carts, embroidered in golf towels at this tournament, which is less than 50 miles from ground zero, to have him take what they call blood money. LIV is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, investing an estimated 2 billion in LIV Golf so far, and this new pro golf circuit is set to try to dethrone the PGA, but it has come with a lot of controversy, and Trump is set to host another one of these, later in the year.”

Trump has defended his actions saying, “nobody has gotten to the bottom of 9/11 unfortunately, and they should have”–essentially arguing that it’s unfair/inaccurate to place the 9/11 blame on Saudi Arabia. He also added that all the proceeds from the golf tournament will be going to charity, so he was not profiting from it.

As Liz McLaughlin correctly pointed out however, even though the U.S. government has never singled out Saudi Arabia as the masterminds of the 9/11 attacks, it is a fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers were from the Kingdom, and the mastermind of the attacks, Osama bin Laden, was also born there. It has also been established that a lot of the funding for bin Laden’s Al Qaeda terrorist network, came from Saudi nationals. So any reasonable person would suspect that the Saudis were behind the 9/11 attacks. And even if one gives Saudi Arabia a pass over 9/11, it is impossible to ignore the Kingdom’s atrocious human rights record, which includes the brutal murder of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

Terry Strada, the National Chair of 9/11 Families United, slammed Trump’s assertion that nobody has gotten to the bottom of the 9/11 attacks, telling host Alex Witt(3:02): “He sounds foolish saying anything like that. He met with the families. He met with me in the White House and we went there for the sole purpose of asking him to declassify FBI documents that were the investigative reports into this…so he sounds completely foolish when he says that nobody has looked into it. We asked him to look into it. It was his job as President to look into it. He failed us miserably back then.”

Bottom line folks, the pundits on Fox News recently made a big deal out of President Biden’s fist bump with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman(MBS) on his official visit to Saudi Arabia. It will be interesting to see if the same pundits also make a big deal out of former President Trump’s “sports washing” of Saudi’s atrocious human rights record and involvement in the 9/11 attacks. 

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Al Gore Says This Should Be A Moment Of Global Epiphany Re Climate Change

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Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore appeared on ABC’s This Week show (07/24/22) to discuss the growing problems caused by climate change. Gore, you’ll remember was already warning about this problem way back in 2006, through his popular documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. With almost all the predictions in his documentary realized, Gore now says this “should be a moment for a global epiphany” re climate change.

Al Gore told host Jonathan Karl(video at 0:53): “Scientists have predicted these extraordinary and catastrophic events for going on decades now, and the fact that they were dead right, maybe a little  conservative even in their projections, should cause us to pay more careful attention to what they are warning us about now. They are saying that if we don’t stop using our atmosphere as an open sewer, and if we don’t stop these heat-trapping emissions, things are going to get a lot worse. More people will be killed, the survival of our civilization is at stake.”

Gore then dropped a major bombshell telling host Jonathan Karl(1:35): “Behind me you see a picture from the International Space Station, that shows how thin the atmosphere is. We’re putting another 162 million tons into it every day, using it as an open sewer, and the accumulated amount now traps as much extra heat as would be released by 600,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs. That’s why the heat records are being broken all the time now, that’s why the storms are stronger, why the ice is melting, and the sea level is rising, and why the droughts and fires are hitting us so hard, and so many other consequences, and they are predicting now, up to a billion climate refugees crossing international borders in this century. We have got to act.”

Asked whether President Biden should declare a climate emergency, the former VP punted, adding that there are other things the Biden administration can do via the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA). He said the EPA can limit emissions from power plants and vehicles, adding that the recent Supreme Court decision “did not take all their power away.” Gore added that the Biden administration could stop allowing drilling for oil and gas on public lands, and that President Biden could appoint a new head of the World Bank to replace “the climate denier that leads it now, appointed by his predecessor [Trump].”

Another very notable thing former VP Gore said was(4:26):“The International Energy Agency(IEA) has said that we should have zero new drilling for oil and gas reserves. We’ve already got enough to incinerate the planet. We’re seeing this global emergency play out, and it’s getting worse more quickly than was predicted. We have got to step up. This should be a moment for a global epiphany.”

Interestingly, Gore, who knows a thing or two about election outcome controversy, was asked about the ongoing January 6th investigation. Gore said(5:31):“I would like to say the[Reps]Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney, and every single member of that Committee have performed an amazing service to our democracy. I think these hearings have been the most persuasive and effective since the Watergate hearings so long ago, and I think we’re seeing a huge impact on public opinion in our country too. They’ve done an incredible job.”

Bottom line folks, Al Gore is the classic example as to why leadership matters. Reasonable people can reasonably disagree as to whether he really lost the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush. The can be no disagreement however, that with Gore as President, America would have tackled the climate crisis with the urgency it deserved, saving many lives and livelihoods in the process.

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Senator Bernie Sanders Slams Manchin, Sinema For Intentionally Sabotaging Biden’s Agenda

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Senator Bernie Sanders(I-VT) appeared on ABC’s This Week show(07/17/22) to discuss President Biden’s controversial trip to Saudi Arabia. Unsurprisingly, Senator Sanders, who has been very consistent about his displeasure with Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses, was opposed to President Biden’s trip to the Kingdom, which he said, was tantamount to rewarding the Saudis.

The interesting part of the interview however came when host Martha Raddatz asked Sen Sanders about Senator Joe Manchin(D-WV) “abruptly” pulling out of negotiations on a climate change proposal that was key to President Biden’s agenda. Sen Sanders swiftly interjected saying, Manchin “didn’t abruptly pull out of anything”, and then proceeded to slam the Senator from West Virginia for intentionally sabotaging President Biden’s agenda. Whoa!!

Host Martha Raddatz(video at 3:20):“Senator Joe Manchin…abruptly pulled the plug on the Democrats’ plan to pass…”

Sen Sanders:“No Martha…he didn’t abruptly do anything…If you check the record, six months ago I made it clear, that you have people like Manchin, Sinema to a lesser degree, who are intentionally sabotaging the President’s agenda, what the American people want, what a majority of us in the Democratic caucus want. Nothing is new about this, and the problem was that we continued to talk to Manchin like he was serious. He was not. This is a guy who is a major recipient of fossil fuel money, a guy who received campaign contributions from 25 Republican billionaires.”

When host Raddatz tried to play devil’s advocate, saying Senator Manchin is concerned about record inflation, and is simply doing what’s best for West Virginians, Sen Manchin retorted:“Same nonsense that Manchin has been talking about for a year. West Virginia is a beautiful state…great people. It is one of the poorest states in this country. You ask the people of West Virginia whether they want to expand Medicare to cover dental, hearing and eye glasses…whether we should demand that the wealthiest people and large corporations start paying their fair share of taxes…whether or not all people should have healthcare as a human right like every other country on earth, that’s what they will say. In my humble opinion, Manchin represents the wealthiest people in this country, not the working families of West Virginia, or America.”

Bottom line folks, what Sen Sanders said on ABC’s This Week show, cannot be restated enough. There was a lot of hope and enthusiasm among Democrats, and a sizable chunk of Independents who voted for the Biden-Harris ticket in 2020, that the Biden-Harris administration would embark on big projects re infrastructure, climate, immigration, etc to set the country up nicely for the future. You even heard famous historians likening Biden to FDR and LBJ–both of whom are remembered for the big projects their administrations embarked, on and delivered.

However, somewhere in some Republican smoke-filled rooms, panic set in over the prospect of a transformational FDR-type Biden-Harris administration, and an elaborate plan was laid out to sabotage Biden’s presidency. Sen Sanders is absolutely right that Senators Manchin and Sinema have been willing participants in the grand GOP scheme to sabotage the Biden presidency, and they must be called out for it!!

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Is Nikki Haley Running For President In 2024? Sure Looks Like A YES

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Nikki Haley on Fox News’ America Reports show(07/19/22)

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, appeared on Fox News’ America Reports show (07/19/22) for an interview that raised a lot of eyebrows because it is the strongest indication yet, that she is indeed running for president in 2024. When asked by the Fox News hosts about a hypothetical match-up pitting her against Democrats Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, or even California Governor Gavin Newsome, the usually reserved Haley appeared uncharacteristically upbeat, telling the Fox News host, “bring it”–a clear indication that that she’s up for the challenge.

America Reports host (video at 3:22): “In terms of 2024…Kamala Harris, Gavin Newsome reaching out to some big money Wall Street donors about a potential run for 2024. When you take a look at Joe Biden’s polling numbers in that Sienna poll, he is well under water with every major demographic. Do you believe he’ll be the nominee in 2024?”

Nikki Haley: “I don’t know who they’re going to decide. I would love it if it is Biden, I’d love it if it is Kamala, I’d love it if it is Gavin Newsome, because we can beat them all day long, bring it. If that’s all they’ve got, bring it, because at the end of the day, we know what the American people want, and they want freedom, and they want to get government out of the way, and they want to make sure that their dollar is valued, and they want to make sure their kids have a better life, and that we have a strong America…that’s what they care about…”

She was then asked about her recent remarks at the Christians United For Israel(CUFI) event where she said this while talking about the Iran nuclear deal(video at 5:43): “No deal is better than a bad deal, and if this President[Biden]signs any sort of deal, I’ll make you a promise. The next President will shred it on her first day in office. Just saying, sometimes it takes a woman.” There was a long applause from the crowd, which obviously noted the “her first day in office” reference in her remarks. There’s absolutely no question that the politically savvy Haley intended for this to be a hint to the CUFI crowd and Americans generally, that she is strongly considering seeking the GOP presidential nomination in 2024.

Pressured by the Fox News hosts to elaborate further on her remarks at the CUFI event, Nikki Haley said(6:29): “Do I think the first female president, that it would be great if it was a strong conservative Republican? Of course I do. And sometimes does it take a woman? I mean we’ve tried men for a while, maybe a woman is what we need, but I don’t think I have to make that decision until the 1st of next year. Right now if we don’t win in 2022, there is no 2024.”

Asked whether she had the fire in the belly to mount a presidential run in 2024, she responded in the affirmative, saying: “I have the fire in the belly for America. I always have, and my parents reminded us every day how blessed we were to live in this country. All I’ve ever known to do is to fight for her, and so whether I run or not, I’m going to fight for this country until my last breath. It’s all I know to do.”

Bottom line folks, it has been widely speculated, including by Yours Truly, that Nikki Haley will mount a presidential run in 2024, so this should come as no surprise. It is however interesting because she took a few steps back on the issue in 2021 when it appeared that former President Trump had taken notice of her presidential ambitions and was displeased by them. Haley backtracked a little after that, saying she would not run for president if Trump was running. Has she now decided to run regardless of whether former President Trump runs? Hmm, sure seems like it, given her latest interview on Fox News’ America Reports show.

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Former AG Holder Re January 6th:”I Think We’re Going To See Indictments Here”

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Former AG Holder on MSNBC’s 11th Hour show (07/15/22)

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder(Obama) appeared on MSNBC’s 11th Hour w/Stephanie Ruhle(07/15/22) where he dropped a bombshell, telling host Ruhle that his vast experience as a public corruption prosecutor at DOJ, leaves him with a strong “feel” that we will see indictments for Trump’s political allies, and possibly Trump himself, over their efforts to thwart the peaceful transfer of power after Trump lost the 2020 election.

Holder said that as a career public corruption prosecutor, “you get a feel for these things after a while.” For the record, many political pundits and legal analysts have said the same thing on cable TV shows. Reasonable people will agree however, that it is quite different, and highly notable, when it comes from a career public corruption prosecutor like Holder, who recently headed the DOJ.

11th Hour host Stephanie Ruhle:“Merrick Garland, the Attorney General is under huge pressure to act, especially as these hearings unfold. You once had his job…should he act?”

Former AG Holder(video at 0:30):“I think to the extent that I could offer a little advice to the folks at the Justice Department, I would say that maybe you need to find a way in which you can appropriately reassure the American people that the Justice Department is on the case. You know, I was a prosecutor, started my career in the public integrity section, where we looked at, and prosecuted official corruption cases, political corruption cases, and you get a feel for these things after a while. And I got to tell you that on the basis of what I’ve heard, what I’ve read about this whole January 6th matter, I think we’re going to see indictments here. I don’t know if they are going to involve ultimately, the president, but I think those near to him have criminal liability, I think people outside the White House are going to be potentially indicted as well, and as I said, that feel that you get as a public corruption prosecutor makes me think that DOJ is going to ultimately return indictments in connection with the attempt to stop the transfer of power back in January.”

There’s no other way to interpret former AG Holder’s remarks on MSNBC’s 11th Hour other than, his vast experience as a public corruption prosecutor at DOJ gives him total confidence that indictments will be handed out to Trump’s political allies, and possibly Trump himself, for their efforts to thwart the peaceful transition of power following the 2020 election.

One only hopes that when former AG Holder says “people outside the White House”, he’s referring to the likes of Reps Marjorie Taylor Green, Matt Gaetz, or even Senators Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, or in the case of Texas, AG Ken Paxton and other Texas super Trumpers. As Trump famously says, “We’ll see what happens.”

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Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro’s Interview On Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Show

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Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson show (06/30/22)

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro sat down with visiting Fox News host Tucker Carlson (06/30/22) for a wide ranging, and quite interesting interview, that covered issues such as his upcoming reelection fight, China’s expansion into Latin America, COVID, Christianity, the media, LGBTQ rights, and even a pitch by Tucker Carlson to Bolsonaro to allow Fox News in Brazil (yeah, he really did that, I promise).

President Bolsonaro and Hungary’s President Viktor Orban, are two notable world leaders who have struck a resonance with Trump’s wing of the Republican Party, which appears to be on a path towards Christian Nationalism. Yours Truly was therefore very interested to hear what President Bolsonaro had to say regarding a whole host of issues, and so should you.

The first topic of discussion was Bolsonaro’s very interesting, even miraculous rise to the presidency. Here’s how he described it (video at 5:22): “My election itself was almost a miracle. I had nothing going for me to be elected. I was just an isolated member of Congress, known as the lower segment of national Congress in Brazil. I conducted my campaign anchored on a Biblical passage John 3:33–‘Thou shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.’ The media never gave me any visibility or space, much to the contrary, they attacked me all the time throughout the campaign. On 09/06/2018, on the eve of the election, I suffered an attempted assassination. Doctors said my survival was a miracle. The same is true for my election, and a very important factor which you may perhaps not be aware of, is the fact that Brazil is a country that upon taking office as the President, the incumbent President surrenders strategic positions in the cabinet and political parties, including the cabinet ministries, state banks, state companies. I did not do that.”

Bolsonaro then went on to attack his left wing opponent, Lula da Silva, using strikingly similar attacks you hear Republicans in the United States leveling against Democrats. Bolsonaro, for example insinuated that the left was planning to rig the upcoming elections, that they are using the pandemic to bring down his administration, and importantly, that if the left defeats him, they will never lose any election again after that–an argument strikingly similar to the one used by former President Trump during his 2020 reelection campaign, and after his loss to Joe Biden. Bolsonaro then went on to list a long laundry list of Republican-like attacks against Lula/the left wing; that they want unfettered abortions, they are soft on crime, that the left is anti-freedom, that the left wants to disarm the public (Brazil’s “second amendment”, I guess), that the left wants amnesty, that the left is manufacturing opinion polls which show him losing, so as to suppress his vote. Very interesting indeed.

Asked how he plans to win reelection despite what Tucker Carlson characterized as “the entire Brazilian media” against him, Bolsonaro responded (11:25): “Yes, there is the weight of the media against me. True, but social media has been doing a great job in Brazil. My social media channels are the most interactive in the world. I believe that today we have 40% of the population who has not yet expressed their voting intentions. Most of the voters we believe, will vote for me in the elections.”

Tucker then pulled the quintessential “shameless plug” and pitched Fox News to President Bolsonaro (11:49): “Why is there no Fox News in Brazil? CNN is here, you got over 50 million votes in the last elections, CNN’s a political player here, so is Globo, but there’s no TV channel for your voter?” Bolsonaro responded to Tucker Carlson’s pitch saying (12:00): “Well if I could launch an appeal for you, I can only say that you will be the most welcome in Brazil. You will be an excellent counterpart to the other vehicles or outlets. There are very few media outlets that are really unbiased in Brazil.” Hmm, again sounds awfully similar to what Republicans say in the U.S.

Asked how he felt about opposition to him, not only inside Brazil, but also from virtually all the neighboring countries, Bolsonaro gave this interesting answer (12:50): “Brazil is an economic powerhouse in South America. The 10 countries with which we have political, geopolitical, physical borders are not that economically strong as compared to Brazil. We are what you might describe as a cherry on the cake. If Brazil goes down or collapses, the whole of South America will go down, and be colored red(bloodshed) if you understand…”

The interview then moved to the topic that shot President Bolsonaro into the international spotlight, and that is, his opposition/refusal to take the COVID vaccine at a time when COVID cases were sky high in Brazil. This move endeared him to anti-vaxxer movements worldwide, but alienated him from Western governments who were at that time (height of the pandemic), desperately trying to get sufficient numbers of their populations vaccinated.

Asked why he refused to take the COVID vaccine, here’s how he responded (22:05 ): “As I said before, maybe I was the only head of state in the world who did not accept restrictive measures, or was against restrictive measures, and perhaps one of the few heads of state in the world who did not take the vaccine because I had already contracted the virus. The left was so worried about taking me out of office that they wanted me to take the vaccine, and I said well, ‘let me die, just let me die then and choose my policy.’ In South America we are the one country that best addressed the issue involving the need for vaccines, and we very properly and adequately equipped our hospitals with equipment and medications, and I believe we have pretty much turned the page there.”

To be clear, Bolsonaro’s argument was that he did not need a COVID vaccine because he had already contracted the virus. He therefore sought medications instead (including in Africa), that were being advertised at the time as cures for COVID. He says even though he was personally against the vaccines, he did make them readily available to the Brazilian public. He also said that part of his reluctance to take the vaccines, was the fine print from the vaccine manufacturers, which said they were not responsible for any side effects from their vaccines.

The interview then moved on to religion, and specifically, Christianity. Asked how he thought his opponent Lula and the left viewed Christianity, Bolsonaro responded (35:27): “The left wing, I mean the vast majority of them are atheists. They do not respect anything. They criticize priests and pastors and Lula himself has said that he will, if elected, he will place priests and pastors and the military in their rightful place, or in the right place in society. For instance, when the U.S. Supreme Court recently changed its understanding and ruling on abortion, the left wing in Brazil did not like that. We did like the new stance taken by the U.S. Supreme Court because we defend life from its very conception, but not so among the left wing people and Lula. Lula and the left wing, they often say that abortion is a matter of public health, and it is the woman that should decide. We believe that the life that has been given to a woman does not belong to the woman, and that is a stance espoused by our religion.” Hmm, interesting. Is this the TrumpGOP stance on abortion, too?

Asked about racism in Brazil, Bolsonaro, much like Republicans in the United States, blamed it on weaponized identity politics pushed by the left. He specifically said this about identity politics (38:17) :“It is a way to divide and conquer. Even before Lula took office in 2003, the left wing would already preach that, I mean, the division of people along identity lines such as Blacks and Whites, and employers and employees, and people from northeastern Brazil vis-a-vis southern Brazil. They have gained followers as a result of that approach, and the major divisionary split today is between employers and employees…and they say that, ‘hey you are not doing well today because of your employer’, and that divide approach or policy… has gained them at least one-fourth of the Brazil population. They have always been supported by at least one-fourth of the Brazilian population. My father-in-Law is…a Black man, and I am a blue-eyed White man. Racism is there in Brazil, yes, but not as it is often described. Most of our main football (soccer) players are, you know, people of African descent, no worries.”

The topic then shifted to gun control, where he was asked why he chose to make it easier for Brazilians to acquire firearms. He responded (39:25) :”I was unable to actually change the Brazilian law, but by means of a presidential decree, and also through ministerial orders, we interpreted the existing legislation as best as possible, and there has been a substantial increase in the number of people who legally own firearms in Brazil, and the consequences you see in the Brazilian media, is a drop in the number of people who are killed by firearms in Brazil. We understand that once people get armed, the crooks, the thieves will think twice before they break into other people’s property. If of course the number had gone up, I would be blamed, but just the opposite is going on today, and if reelected, if everything goes well, we will have a substantial support in Congress, and we’ll be able to pass laws on firearms, very much along the same lines as in the U.S.”

The topic then shifted to the Amazon rain forest, and specifically, whether it was being destroyed (deforestation) at an alarming rate causing global climate problems. Climate activists blame Bolsonaro’s administration for the deforestation. Here’s what Bolsonaro said when asked whether the Amazon was being destroyed at the high rates claimed by the news media (46:25): “No, that is not true. Two-thirds of the Brazilian territory are currently preserved, and remain pristine, just as they were back in the 1500s when this country was discovered by the Portuguese. The criminal acts that do happen, we will not deny that, are ultimately given too much visibility because there is a huge interest in making our sovereignty over the Amazonian region a relative fact, or perceived in a relative light. I met with President Putin and thanked him because on two occasions when this issue was discussed with other countries, he stated that the Amazon region belongs to the Brazilian people, not to anyone else. The Amazon region is as vast as eastern Europe. It’s huge, it’s wonderful, it’s just not possible to, you know, take care of every square meter in the Amazon region. There is illegal deforestation, yes, there are fire outbreaks, yes, but not at the rate that is announced out there. California itself always you know, catches fire, and it’s not given that much visibility, French Guyana likewise, I mean, you can’t possibly set a rain forest to fire, but there is illegal deforestation, yes, and we are working to tackle that.”

Asked about criticism regarding the Amazon, by celebrities-turned-climate activists, like Mark Ruffalo, Bolsonaro said (49:30):”These are people who do not understand anything about Brazil. I think these people have never been to the Amazon region, and I would actually invite them to come to the Amazon region, and overfly the region…They talk about the Amazon region because it’s trendy, it’s a fad. I mean, in Europe, if someone says that the Amazon region is not being devastated, they are politically doomed to fiasco. So, it’s politically good for them, you know, the criticism yields power, yields media visibility, yields votes, and that’s what celebrities feed on. They are not at all familiar with the Amazon region. They are not at all knowledgeable about the region, and the difficulty of investing in it. They just criticize it because it’s a fad.”

Asked whether he has enjoyed being President of Brazil, Bolsonaro said (50:30): “I must admit, you know, I first launched myself as a candidate, of course I intended to become the President, but I was all too aware of the challenges and the difficulties, and the experiences we have undergone, or I have undergone, I could never ever have imagined what it would look like, but I am comforted by the fact that the other candidate, the Workers Party candidate, Haddad, if he had won, Brazil would certainly be what Venezuela is today. So that’s a source of comfort to me, and that encourages me to say to the population that God is the one who has placed me where I am today…A message to the Americans–God, the homeland, family and freedom.”

The final topic of discussion was China, which Tucker Carlson said, was the primary reason for his visit to Brazil. Carlson contends that China is on a quest to colonize Africa and S. America–basically invest heavily in these regions and then take them over as colonies.

Tucker Carlson(58:50): “Given your natural resources, are you worried about the level of Chinese investment in Brazil.”

Bolsonaro:”I would very much like the Americans to also take part in more investments in Brazil. We of course have trade flows with China, and they have of course at least at first shown interest in ensuring their food security.”

Bottom line folks, I came out with the impression that President Bolsonaro is trying very hard to identify himself with the Republican Party in the United States, and specifically,, Trump’s wing of the party. His campaign message appears to be:“If you want Brazil to be God-fearing, rich, prosperous, and free, like the United States, vote for me. If Lula wins, Brazil will become a socialist nation and descend into bloodshed. I am the only one standing between Brazil and socialism/bloodshed, so vote wisely.” Will this campaign pitch be enough to earn Bolsonaro a reelection victory? Hmm, we’ll see what happens.

***Updated to include the fact that on 08/04/2022, Hungary’s President Viktor Orban addressed the CPAC Conference in Dallas, Texas. Orban and Bolsonaro appear to be playing from the same playbook re American conservatives–Christian Nationalism ***

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VP Harris Calls Out The Hypocrisy Of “Pro-Lifers” Who Consistently Vote Against Laws Meant to Financially Assist Parents

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U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris sat down for an extensive interview with CNN’s Dana Bash(06/27/22), where she discussed the bombshell Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v Wade, and other issues confronting the Biden administration as we approach the crucial midterm elections this Fall. One of the major highlights of the interview was when VP Harris called out the “abject obvious hypocrisy” of “pro-life” Republicans in Congress, who talk a big game about “right to life”, yet at every turn vote against measures intended to improve the financial situation of parents. It appears congressional Republicans only care about the life of the baby before they are actually born.

Asked by host Dana Bash whether the federal government will step in and help mothers who will be forced to have babies they can’t financially support, VP Harris responded(video at 0:10):“I’m so glad you raised that point because I’m going to say this, and here’s the abject obvious hypocrisy. Those people who say that they do not want to allow a woman to choose, to make the decision with her priest, with her rabbi, with her pastor, that instead the government is going to interfere and make the decision for her. Those same people are the ones who voted against the extension of the child tax credit, the same ones who voted against a tax cut for families to pay for child care, the same ones who are voting against paid family leave, the same ones who vote against putting resources into public schools. I was doing work on maternal mortality. We are pushing to say that for example, Medicaid should be extended for post-partum care from 2 months to 12 months. These are the same people who reject the notion of expansion of medicaid.”

Asked what the Biden administration can do in the form of executive action, VP Harris said that this is a democracy, and therefore Congress is the proper venue for effectively addressing issues related to the reproductive health of women. She said as it currently stands, “the numbers are not there” and so the filibuster remains an obstacle, even though Democrats control the White House, the Senate and the House. VP Harris said codifying Roe v Wade will become a reality if Democrats pick up more seats during the upcoming midterms–a tall order which I suspect will not sit well with already frustrated Dem voters.

Asked to weigh in on whether Supreme Court Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch lied under oath during their Senate confirmation hearings, VP Harris responded:“I never believed them. I didn’t believe them. That’s why I voted against them.” She added, “It was clear to me when I was sitting in that chair as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that they were very likely to do what they just did. That was my perspective, that was my opinion, and that’s why I voted like I did.”

As about what the Biden administration is doing to assist working families drowning under high inflation and gas prices, VP Harris pointed out that a lot of this has to do with Putin’s war in Ukraine, and that the Biden administration is working closely with our allies around the world to rectify the situation. She also pointed out the things the Biden administration is doing locally to ease the financial burden on working families, namely, lowering the cost of prescription drugs and child care.

Asked about the January 6th investigation, and whether given her background as a prosecutor, she would bring criminal charges against former President Trump, VP Harris cleverly dodged the question, saying jokingly, “As a former prosecutor, I never comment on another prosecutor’s case.”

Importantly, VP Harris finally settled the lingering rumors that keep popping up in various sections of the mainstream media about President Biden possibly opting out of 2024, or picking a different running mate. She gave host Dana Bash a plain an simple answer to that question: “Joe Biden is running for reelection, and I will be his ticket mate. Full stop.”

Hopefully this will put an end to the annoying MSM rumors about a broken Biden-Harris 2024 ticket. Seriously MSM, there are much more pressing issues to focus on–in 2022!!

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Senator Lindsey Graham Labels Liberal SCOTUS Critics “Constitutional Anarchists”

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Senator Lindsey Graham(R-SC), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, appeared on Fox News Sunday(06/26/22) to discuss the bombshell Supreme Court decision striking down the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision which made abortion legal in the United States. Sen Graham lashed out at liberals angered by the high court’s decision, and using it as a basis to call for the high court’s reform/expansion, calling them “constitutional anarchists”.

He said the court’s decision in Roe was a result of 50 years of painstaking work at the ballot box by Republicans, urging Democrats to do the same if they want favorable outcomes from the high court–essentially admitting(whether he realized it, or not), that after 50 years, Republicans have successfully politicized the United States Supreme Court to their advantage.

Sen Graham said(video at 1:25):“This is a huge victory for the pro-life movement. President Trump deserves a lion share of credit here. He fought like a tiger to put three constitutional conservative judges on the court. He stood behind Kavanaugh, and all of us who’ve been working for the last 50 years to get this right, to have a constitutional reset, Friday was a glorious day…When Roe came down[1973], we didn’t burn down the Capitol as conservatives, we didn’t go to liberal justices’ homes and try to intimidate them. The radical left are constitutional anarchists. They are literally trying to change this country from top to bottom. They want to pack the court because they don’t like this decision. they want to abolish the electoral college so California and New York can pick the president in perpetuity…So these constitutional anarchists, here’s my advise to you. Quit trying to burn down America, and work like we did in the fields. Elect people who agree with you at the ballot box…This was worn through the ballot box by conservatives, and we’re not going to let liberals intimidate the rule of law system to take it away from us.”

Asked whether the Roe decision will become the biggest issue in this year’s midterms, Senator Graham disagreed, saying it will be inflation and high gas prices. He then quickly reverted to his constitutional anarchist theme saying(video at 4:42):“For all of you who’ve been working for 50 years to elect members of the House and the Senate and presidents that would put constitutional conservatives on the court, your day finally arrived. And to the left, the way you do this, is to do what we did. You take it to the ballot box, you don’t try to destroy America. These constitutional anarchists like AOC have to be dealt with, and there will be a backlash against this effort to intimidate our judges.”

It bears pointing out that Senator Graham has a history of, for lack of better words, freaking out, every time calls for court reform/expansion come up, so this should not surprise anybody. Evidently the global blowback following the Roe decision has renewed his fears, leading to his constitutional anarchist charge.

Bottom line folks, Sen Graham can cry all he wants about calls for Supreme Court reform by liberals. The fact of the matter is that public confidence in the Roberts Supreme Court is at an all-time low. That in itself, should be grounds for a serious debate into whether the high court is out of touch with the beliefs of a vast majority of Americans. Yours Truly also hopes that given what we witnessed on January 6th 2021, someone in the media, or TeamAOC, would ask Sen Graham exactly what he means when he says, “These constitutional anarchists like AOC have to be dealt with…”

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