Is Lt Gov Winsome Sears The New Feel-Good Republican Of Color?

The Republican Party has for decades fought accusations of racism from Democrats and others who do not identify with the party. As a result, Republicans have always latched onto some highly impressive African-American in their midst, as the “feel-good” Republican of color, who the party then holds out as proof that it is not a racist party.

Some of the prominent and most recent “feel-good” Republicans of color include the late General Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, both of whom served as U.S. Secretary of State, former Oklahoma Congressman JC Watts who was a star quarterback for the Sooners, and even current Senator Tim Scott(R-SC)

Well, it appears, given the reaction to her stellar performance on CNN’s State of The Union, that we have a newly-minted feel-good Republican of color—one Winsome Sears from Virginia.

Here are just some of the reactions from Republicans, super excited about Winsome Sears’ performance on CNN’s State of The Union.

It will be interesting to see how the feel-good Republican of color status shapes Winsome Sears’ political career going forward. Will she run for President in 2024? Hmm. As Trump famously says, “We’ll see what happens.”

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Extreme Gerrymandering In Ohio Called Out

CNN’s Reality Check w/John Avlon did a segment(11/19/21) featuring an extreme gerrymandering case currently playing out in Ohio. Back in 2018, Ohio voters overwhelmingly backed(75%) an amendment to the state’s constitution that would ensure redistricting was carried out in a bipartisan fashion. Ohio’s congressional district maps were to be drawn by a bipartisan 7-member redistricting commission. The idea behind a bipartisan redistricting commission was quite simple–to create competitive district maps which would in turn reduce political polarization. Basically, politicians will shy away from radical ideas/conduct if they know they can be easily beaten at the polls.

Well, it turns out Ohio Republicans have since reneged on their support for a bipartisan redistricting commission, and are now using the Republican-led state legislature to come up with an extremely gerrymandered map, one that will give them a 13-2 advantage in congressional seats(86%R-14%D), even though Trump’s 2020 win in Ohio was only 53%-45%. No reasonable person would ever conclude that Ohio is an 86R-14D state, yet this is exactly what the new congressional map being pushed by state Republicans attempts to achieve–a total fraud and willful disenfranchisement of Democratic-leaning voters.

Even more repugnant is the way the Republican-led Ohio state legislature ended up being responsible for drawing the congressional maps. According to John Avlon, Republican members of the bipartisan redistricting commission simply refused to show up for duty, thereby crippling the commission because it was unable to convene meetings. With the bipartisan commission deliberately crippled, the redistricting job fell back to the partisan Ohio legislature, which drew the extremely gerrymandered map–a sad state of affairs indeed.

John Avlon said: “Ohio Republicans just decided to disregard the state constitution and the will of the voters. A seven-member redistricting commission had a month to work on a fair map, but Republican members refused to participate, and so the commission couldn’t convene. The power to draw the lines fell back to the Republican-controlled state assembly, who proceeded to do exactly what the constitutional amendment forbade. They cracked and packed minority communities, dividing counties and cities for their own partisan advantage. For example, Hamilton County, home to Cincinnati, which voted for[President] Biden by a 16-point margin, will be divided into 3 congressional districts, with Black voters offset by White Republicans.”

This is just the latest example of how state Republicans are actively disenfranchising Democratic-leaning/minority voters while Democrats in Washington are still dithering over abolishing the filibuster, and coming up with a federal voting rights law. A federal voting rights law is the only solution to the rampant GOP gerrymandering.

Bottom line folks, time is of the essence. Democrats need to abolish the filibuster immediately and pass a federal voting rights law. The two Senate holdouts, Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, must be confronted with this troubling Ohio gerrymandering case, and be forced to explain why a filibuster carve out for a federal voting legislation is not the appropriate way to go, given the dire circumstances.

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Sunday Dem Newsmakers

A listing of the Democratic movers and shakers who appear on the various Sunday political shows to discuss the Dem agenda. Your one-stop shop for keeping up with the weekly goings-on within the Democratic Party.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm appeared on CNNSOTU (11/7/21) to discuss the recently passed infrastructure bill and what lies ahead for the passage of President Biden’s Build Back Better plan

President Biden’s Senior Adviser Cedric Richmond appeared on Fox News Sunday (11/7/21) to discuss the recently passed infrastructure bill, build back better, and other issues facing the Biden admin

Centrist/Moderate Democrat Josh Gottheimer(NJ) appeared on CNNSOTU (11/7/21) to give the Centrist/Moderate Dem view of Biden’s Build Back Better plan. Rep Gottheimer and other Centrist Dems are insisting on a CBO score before passing Biden’s build back better plan

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), who’s also a former VA Governor, appeared on CNNSOTU (11/7/21) to dissect the recent hotly contested VA Governor race, where Democrat Terry McAuliffe lost to Republican Glenn Youngkin

The Mayor-Elect of New York City, Eric Adams, appeared on CNNSOTU (11/7/21) to discuss his interesting win, and the direction he intends to take New York City

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation (11/7/21) to discuss the recent hotly contested VA Governor race where Democrat Terry McAuliffe lost to Republican Glenn Youngkin

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain appeared on NBC’s Meet The Press (11/7/21) to discuss the recently passed infrastructure bill, build back better, and other issues confronting Biden’s White House

Newly reelected New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy(D) appeared on NBC’s Meet The Press (11/7/21) to discuss his hard-fought win over Republican Jack Ciattarelli

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken appeared on CNNSOTU (10/31/21) to discuss President Biden’s overseas trip to the G20 Summit, COP26 Summit, Afghanistan and other foreign affairs issues

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders(I-VT) appeared on CNNSOTU (10/31/21) to discuss the ongoing budget negotiations, build back better….

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg appeared on Fox News Sunday to discuss Build Back Better and some of it’s provisions including Paid Family Leave and other transport issues

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm appeared on NBC’s Meet The Press (10/31/21) to discuss Build Back Better and other energy-related issues

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation(10/31/21) to discuss Build Back Better, Inflation and other issues pertinent to her commerce portfolio

Progressive Democrat Ro Khana(CA) appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation(10/31/21) to discuss the ongoing budget negotiations, Build Back Better, and other issues near and dear to Progressives

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appeared on CNNSOTU (10/24/21) to talk about Build Back Better, Voting Rights, and a whole host of other Dem agenda issues

Rep Bennie Thompson(D-MS) appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation(10/24/21) to discuss the progress being made by the January 6th Committee in finding out what led to the DC insurrection

Rep Ro Khanna(D-CA) appeared on Fox News Sunday(10/24/21) to discuss Build Back Better and other Progressive Dem agenda issues

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen appeared on CNNSOTU(10/24/21) to discuss inflation, supply chain disruptions, and a host of other issues affecting the U.S. economy

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky appeared on Fox News Sunday(10/24/21) to discuss booster shots and all other issues covid

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Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo:”Texas Is Being Run From Maralago”

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo appeared on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show (09/24/2021), where she blasted elected Republicans in Texas for giving in to former President Trump’s baseless demands for an audit into the state’s 2020 election results. The decision by the Texas Secretary of State’s office to conduct an audit into the election results of Collin, Dallas, Harris and Tarrant counties, came literally a few hours after Trump’s demand, which led a visibly upset Judge Hidalgo to tell host Maddow that Texas was “being run from Maralago.”

Judge Hidalgo told Maddow:“We have to remember we had incredibly successful elections here in Harris County in 2020. We had innovations that led to record turnouts from both parties, the highest in 30 years, I mean it was beautiful, and since then, no evidence has come out that would in any way cause the need for this kind of audit. All we’ve seen is [former]President Trump exhorting the state, or [Governor]Abbott, to have this audit…The reality of it is Texas is being run from Maralago, and that is dangerous, and it’s not appropriate…it’s extremely concerning.”

Judge Hidalgo added that time had come for politicians in Washington to get off the sidelines, and actively join the fight against voter suppression in the states, telling host Maddow, “We need the federal government to act, I mean, this has gone too far… This should be another call to action. We’ve got the writing on the wall. We’ve got to get off our chairs and get moving on all this.”

Bottom line folks, as Judge Hidalgo correctly pointed out, time has come for some decisive action to be taken against these naked efforts by Republicans at the state level, to restrict the voting rights of minorities. Democrats in Washington cannot just sit on the sidelines, and watch their counterparts in Republican-led states like Texas, go to war against GOP’s efforts to restrict minority voting rights. Simply put, time has come for Democrats in Washington to finally do away with the filibuster, and institute a national voting standard geared towards making it easier for people to vote, as opposed to GOP’s scheme of limiting access to the ballot box. As Judge Hidalgo correctly put it, congressional Democrats need to “get off their chairs and get moving” on a comprehensive federal voting rights law.

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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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Pompeo Confronted On Giving Taliban Legitimacy And Securing Their Release From Prison

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on Fox News Sunday(08/15/2021) to discuss the ongoing crisis unfolding in Afghanistan, following the decision by the Biden administration to withdraw U.S. troops from the country. Pompeo, who naturally was intent on slamming the Biden administration for the chaos in Afghanistan, was however confronted with his own record as Secretary of State, specifically, his role in legitimizing the Taliban, and forcing the Afghan government to release Taliban fighters from prison.

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

Host Chris Wallace’s question to Pompeo: “You are the first American Secretary of State to ever meet with the Taliban, and you talked about how they had agreed to join us in the fight against terrorism…Do you regret giving the Taliban that legitimacy? Do you regret pressuring the Afghan government to release five thousand prisoners, which they did, some of whom are now back on the battlefield fighting with the Taliban?”

Pompeo responded that even though he enlisted Taliban forces in our fight against terrorism, specifically Al-Qaeda, he has never trusted them. He specifically said, “We never trusted the Taliban…We made abundantly clear if they did not live up to that peace of paper[deal], to the words that they had put on the ground, we weren’t going to allow them to just walk away from any deal that they had struck. We were going to crush them…We didn’t take the word of the Taliban. We watched their actions on the ground. When they did the right thing and they helped us against terror, that was all good, and when they didn’t, we crushed them.”

Pompeo’s response is shaky on several grounds, chief among them, the fact that it dodges the million dollar question at hand, and that is, whether the Taliban fighters he forced the Afghan government to release, are the same fighters now running over the country. Reasonable people will agree that some of the Taliban prisoners freed as a result of pressure from then Secretary Pompeo, are the same fighters now causing all the chaos in the country.

Bottom line folks, the operating principle has been, and still is, that in all our military engagements, the buck always stops with the sitting Commander-in-Chief, in this case, President Biden. Republicans have every right to lay the blame on the Biden administration for the chaos currently unfolding in Afghanistan. It is totally disingenuous however, for Pompeo and others in former President Trump’s cabinet, to act like they had nothing to do with the current mess in Afghanistan. Reasonable people will agree that some of the five thousand Taliban prisoners Pompeo pressured the Afghan government to release, are the same Taliban fighters now running over the country. Simply put Mike Pompeo, you have a hand in the Afghan mess!!

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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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Will The Trump Family Be Hit With New York’s Racketeering Enterprise Charge?

Former President Trump addresses a rally in Sarasota, Florida(07/03/2021)

Investigative Reporter David Cay Johnston, an authority in all things Trump, dropped a bombshell on CNN’s Don Lemon show(07/05/21), telling fill-in host Laura Coates that he believed the Manhattan DA will ultimately hit Trump and members of his family with the racketeering enterprise charge, under article 460 of New York’s penal code. Johnston added that this charge could result in a 25 year prison sentence at New York’s notorious Attica prison. code. The full CNN segment is available here, but the relevant clip is below

David Cay Johnston specifically said: “I believe eventually Laura, and since I first said this about a year ago, a number of prosecutors have agreed with me, that the ultimate indictment here is likely to be a New York state racketeering enterprise charge, article 460 of the New York state penal code.”

Johnston then went on to describe what racketeering is, saying even though many in the public think of it as exclusively applying to the mafia, and other organized crime syndicates, it can also be applied to Trump Org, et al. He said, “Racketeering is running what appears to be a legitimate business that’s really a criminal organization who’s primary purpose is breaking the law. While we think of this in terms of mafia, it applies absolutely equally to people who cheat on taxes, who cheat insurance companies, banks, file phony business records, which in New York is a crime that can get you 25 years in Attica.”

David Cay Johnston has been spot-on on almost every piece of reporting he has done over the years, on Trump and his family . Will he be proven right again on the racketeering enterprise charges against the Trump family? Only time will tell, or as Trump famously says, “We’ll see what happens.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fulton County DA Getting Racist Attacks After Launching Probe Into Trump’s Phone Call

Fulton County DA (Georgia) Fani Willis On The Rachel Maddow Show (2/11/2021)

Fulton County DA Fani Willis told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that after her office launched a criminal probe into former President Trump’s infamous phone call to Georgia’s Secretary of State, she has been the subject of racist attacks from Trump’s supporters. You’ll remember Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, was very troubled by the call from the former President, which was essentially urging him to commit an illegal act, that he asked his staff to record it. It is quite clear from the phone call that former President Trump wanted Raffensperger to tinker with Georgia’s election results, so as to overturn his Democratic opponent Joe Biden’s win.

In response to Maddow’s question as to whether she and her staff were concerned about their safety given the unfortunate events of DC insurrection, DA Willis responded, “Oh absolutely. Since we’ve opened this [criminal probe], my security has doubled. We’ve gotten a lot of comments. Interestingly enough, the comments are always racist, and it’s really just a waste of time and foolishness. It is not going to stop me from doing my job, and I don’t think that it is an insult to remind me that I am a Black woman, so it is a waste of their time….” The rest of DA Willis’ interview with Maddow is available here.

It is quite sad that as a result of Trumpism, it has become normal for any public official seeking to hold Trump accountable for his myriad infractions, to receive insults and threats of violence from Trumpers. This is especially so for public officials of color like DA Willis, who Trumpers go out of their way to subject to some of the most vile racist attacks imaginable, because Trump has put it in their mind that as long as they are fighting for him, they have a license to use any means.

It will be interesting to see how DA Willis’ investigation plays out, but from her appearance on the Rachel Maddow Show yesterday, Yours Truly came out with the impression that we are dealing with a serious professional here, and Trump better invest on some good legal defense team , certainly better than the one representing him at his Senate impeachment trial.

Bottom line folks, it was well known before, and Trump’s niece Mary Trump recently confirmed it, that Trump pretty much went through life without ever being held accountable for anything. We saw this throughout his presidency too, where at every turn, Republican members of Congress went out of their way to shield him from facing the consequences of his actions. This Fulton County criminal probe is in many ways the very first time Trump is staring at the potential of facing consequences for his actions, and ending up in jail. If Trump does indeed end up in a Georgia jail, it will be impossible to ignore the powerful poetic justice behind it–that the same Black women who Trump routinely maligned and addressed with great contempt as somehow inferior or unqualified, are the same ones who formed the backbone of the successful resistance to his presidency, picked Trump’s successful Democratic challenger Joe Biden (especially South Carolina women), and now one of them, Fulton County DA Fani Willis, appears poised to succeed in what everybody else has failed–holding Trump accountable for his actions.

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