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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AOC on why Fox News is so obsessed with her

AOC on the power of femininity

AOC on being misunderstood and hated by right wingers

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

AOC on being insulted by a Republican Congressman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Rep Gaetz Says Republicans Have An Obligation To Use Second Amendment For An Armed Rebellion

Just four months after the horrific January 6th insurrection in Washington DC by violent Trump supporters, Congressman Matt Gaetz(R-FL) was in Dalton, Georgia (5/27/21) telling a crowd of supporters that the second amendment was meant for armed rebellion and importantly, that they(Republicans), “have an obligation to use it”. If this is not a direct incitement to violent insurrection by the sitting Congressman, I don’t know what is.

In the clip which was played on CNN’s NewDay with Brianna Keilar, Rep Gaetz can be heard telling the crowd, “We have a second amendment in this country, and I think we have an obligation to use it…The second amendment is not about hunting, it’s not about recreation, it’s not about sports. The second amendment is about maintaining within the citizenry, the ability to maintain an armed rebellion against the government if that becomes necessary.” There’s absolutely no other way any reasonable person can interpret this, other than a direct incitement to an armed rebellion against the government by Rep Gaetz.

This is a very serious issue, and must be treated as such by the powers that be, given the fact that it comes only four months after DC insurrection, an armed rebellion that came shockingly close to success. Rep Gaetz’s comments also deserve further scrutiny because unlike many other Republicans who initially distanced themselves from former President Trump after DC insurrection, he and Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene, in whose district Gaetz was speaking, fully embraced Trump even after the incident, and have since projected themselves as Trump’s trusted lieutenants nationally. As a result, Trump’s supporters regard public statements by Reps Gaetz and Greene as direct messages from the former President–a call to action if you will.

Any reasonable person looking at the GOP’s reaction to the events that transpired on January 6th, and since then, is left with a very troubling picture as to where the party, and quite frankly the country, is headed. Trump’s lies about election fraud led to an armed insurrection on Jan 6th. Congressional Republicans chose not to impeach him for that. Trump is still pushing the same dangerous lies. Some Republican members of Congress have since conjured up revisionist theories as to what really happened on January 6th(just a bunch of tourists etc), to excuse their continued support for Trump.

Republican-controlled state legislatures have embarked on voter suppression laws targeting areas/voters they deem anti-Trump and importantly, made it possible for state legislatures to overturn elections in case of unfavorable outcomes. All this is being done against the backdrop of Trump teasing another run for President in 2024, meaning the said state legislatures are setting the stage for overturning the elections in case Trump loses. The sham election recount in Arizona is also setting the stage to overturn future election results that don’t go in Trump’s favor. States like Texas are passing reckless gun laws that make it possible for just about anybody to bear arms. Hmm, coincidence? How does this fit into Rep Gaetz’s rebellion rhetoric? Remember, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is a super Trumper too.

Republican Senators, at the urging of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell(KY), are today(05/28/21) set to kill an effort to establish a bipartisan commission to look into what led to the January 6th DC insurrection, and coming up with ways to prevent it from ever happening again. Is Senator McConnell afraid that the commission will show that DC insurrection was not as “fringe” as establishment Republicans want the public to believe? Was he personally involved behind the scenes? These are questions the public needs to start asking, and asking loudly, because something is off-kilter with the current GOP, and it’s continued dalliance with insurrectionist Trump. Simply put, “fringe” Reps Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene may not be that fringe after all, as CNN host Brianna Keilar pointed out.

Bottom line folks, we must never forget the fact that we simply got lucky on January 6th. Everything that has happened with Trump’s GOP since January 6th, leads any reasonable person to conclude that Jan 6th was just a trial run, and if we don’t remain vigilant, we are definitely headed towards another one, this time, successful .

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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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Rep Liz Cheney:”We’ve Never Seen That Kind Of Assault By A POTUS On Another Branch Of Government”

In a refreshing display of resoluteness, a defiant Rep Liz Cheney (R-WY), fresh from a censure by her own party, and an effort to knock her off her House leadership position, today doubled down on Fox News Sunday, slamming former president Trump for the Jan 6th DC insurrection saying, “We’ve never seen that kind of assault by a president of the United States on another branch of government” adding, “That can never happen again.” Rep Cheney made it clear that she will not waver from her principled stance against the unfortunate events of January 6th, despite attacks from Trump and his allies.

This is especially refreshing given the fact that several prominent Republicans, who rightly expressed outrage after the events of January 6th, lately appear to be changing their stances out of fear of attacks by former president Trump and his allies. Rather than confronting the Jan 6th issue directly, and putting the blame squarely where it belongs–on Trump and his election fraud lies, prominent Republicans have resorted to deflecting the blame on Antifa and other leftist groups, on “liberal media bias”, or side-stepping the issue altogether by using the procedural argument that the impeachment of an ex-president is unconstitutional. It is very clear that even though Trump is no longer president, there is still great fear by prominent Republicans, many of whom tout their strong belief in freedom of speech, to criticize him, or his actions in public.

Rep Liz Cheney has remained steady in her denunciation of former president Trump for DC insurrection, despite taking a lot of heat from Trump himself, and his sycophants in the House, who moved to remove her from her leadership position. One of Trump’s biggest sycophants, Rep Matt Gaetz (R-FL) even travelled to Rep Cheney’s Congressional district in Wyoming to whip up the Wyoming state GOP against Rep Cheney. You rarely see a sitting member of Congress travelling out of state, to go and campaign against a fellow member of Congress(same party) in their home district, because the two disagree on a political issue. The kind of outrageous conduct we witnessed from Trump sycophant Rep Gaetz, is what you’d expect in third-world dictatorships, where personality cults are prevalent, and not in an advanced democracy like the United States.

Also very importantly, Rep Liz Cheney reiterated on her Fox News Sunday appearance, that the events of January 6th were based on lies perpetrated by Trump and his allies, and that the public should not assume that the outcome of Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate will be the end of accountability. She said, “I would also point out though Chris, that the Senate trial is a snapshot. There is a massive criminal investigation underway…..There will be many many criminal investigations looking at every aspect of this [DC insurrection], and everyone who was involved.” This is a key point which is lost to many in the mainstream media, who look at Trump’s upcoming Senate trial as the be-all and end-all of the DC insurrection saga. As Rep Cheney correctly pointed out, it’s only beginning.

Bottom line folks, even though my political views don’t quite align with Rep Cheney’s, I will readily admit that I find her kind of political courage highly refreshing, especially in today’s polarized Washington. If our democracy is to survive Trumpism and it’s attendant QAnon nonsense, it will be because Republicans like Liz Cheney, who know better, looked Trump in the eye and told him, “Enough already. Knock it off!” The fence-straddling we’re witnessing from Ambassador Nikki Haley, Governor Kristi Noem, Senator Marco Rubio, and other leading Republicans rumored to be running for president in 2024, is appalling and quite frankly, makes them unfit to lead the United States, a beacon of democracy worldwide. Maybe Cheney2024 is the Party of Lincoln’s last hope for survival!!

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