Friday Reads: Rainy Days and Trump Rallies always bring me downPosted: June 25, 2021
Good Day Sky Dancers!
Yes. More rain for New Orleans. It’s keeping the temps in the 70’s and 80’s so I’m not going to complain. Temple, however, hates thunder and has glued herself to my leg for the time being. The weather certainly is wild this summer with a major heatwave on the west coast and even Moscow appears to be setting record temperatures. My Seattle Doctor Daughter who has firmly entered her third trimester with the twins was not happy about the heat. Portland and Seattle are both heading into the 100s. There’s also another disturbance in the Gulf to be investigated so what can I say? Let’s tackle Climate change while we can!!!
That infrastructure bill better start up fast! We’re still living with 1910 sewage systems here and it ain’t pretty. They’re out tearing up Dauphine Street which intersects with my part of Poland Avenue. I’ve been keen to see the old pipes and keep trying to get a peep at them. Saw one brought out today and it was a huge old iron thing that was probably studded with lead by now. Meanwhile, here’s uptown! Thar she blows!!
So, speaking of blowhards, prepare yourself to avoid the news coverage of Trump’s Revenge Rallies which are starting up this weekend. This is from The Bulwark and was written by Daniel McGraw. “Brace Yourself: Trump Starts Up His Rallies Again This Weekend. He’s bringing the MAGA circus to Ohio. Here’s why.” I generally take a newsbreak over the weekend and this reinforces that habit for me.
Then former president Donald Trump announced he was relaunching his rally roadshow—with the first stop being in Wellington, Ohio tomorrow—the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram had this reaction in an op-ed: “Why us? . . . It’s enough to inspire both anticipation and dread.”
While Trump supporters will dismiss such expressions with their usual disdain for the media, his appearance in Ohio should, indeed, inspire some dread. It is very much a singular act, focused on targeting one GOP member of Congress.
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez was one of ten Republicans to vote for Trump’s second impeachment, and his district runs close to this part of Ohio. For that reason, Trump is going to take over the Lorain County Fairgrounds tomorrow to blast a sitting congressman who won his district in 2020 by more than 25 percent, and even ran ahead of Trump by 15,000 votes.
“No, I just don’t think Gonzalez is good. I don’t think he represents the people. I think he’s not somebody that thinks the way I do and others do,” Trump said in a recent podcast, explaining his rationale for the rally.
With a stage set up in the fairgrounds of a small town that is little more than an intersection in farm country, what should we expect?
“Of course, he’s going to talk about some of the Republicans he thinks stabbed him in the back, starting with Anthony Gonzalez in Ohio, Liz Cheney [of Wyoming], Adam Kinzinger [of Illinois], and the people who voted against him in the House during the impeachment,” predicted David B. Cohen, a political scientist at the University of Akron in a recent interview. “I think it’s mostly going to be a Donald Trump pity party.”
The Big Lie Tour happens as the DOJ takes aim at the Georgia Voter Suppression Law aimed at letting state government overturn the elections threatens this year’s elections. This is from WAPO: “Justice Dept. to file lawsuit against state of Georgia over new voting restrictions” It’s authored by David Nakamura.
The Justice Department will file a federal lawsuit Friday against the state of Georgia for its efforts to enact new voting restrictions that federal authorities allege discriminate against Black Americans, according to people familiar with the matter.
The legal challenge takes aim at Georgia’s Election Integrity Act, which was passed in March by the Republican-led state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp (R). The law imposes new limits on the use of absentee ballots, makes it a crime for outside groups to provide food and water to voters waiting at polling stations, and hands greater control over election administration to the state legislature.
This is from ABC News covering the announcement of the action: “Justice Department to sue Georgia over voting rights law. AG Merrick Garland said the law seeks to disenfranchise Black voters.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Friday that the Justice Department is filing suit against the state of Georgia over its sweeping election law recently passed by Republicans, alleging it violates the federal Voting Rights Act by seeking to disenfranchise Black voters.
“Our complaint alleges that recent changes to Georgia’s election laws were enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of Black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color, in violation of Section Two of the Voting Rights Act,” Garland said.
Garland said the bill signed into law earlier this year by Gov. Brian Kemp includes provisions that “make it harder for people to vote,” and the complaint being filed by the department alleges the restrictions were passed “with the purpose of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color.”
For months, President Joe Biden and other Democrats have been heavily critical of Georgia Republicans and Kemp for signing Georgia’s voting bill into law, equating it to “Jim Crow-era” segregation laws while arguing it’s premised on the lie that widespread fraud tainted the 2020 election.
The department’s lawsuit will be separate from seven other lawsuits that have been filed against the state of Georgia since the election bill was signed into law in March.
Republican-biased media outlets are howling about the bi-partisan section of the infrastructure bill. I’m not going to quote the crazy but Politico is close enough with pearl-clutching Lady Lindsey chasing her skirt around the room. “POLITICO Playbook: Graham: Biden made GOP look like ‘f—ing idiots’” Really, they don’t need President Biden to point that reality out.
The gist is this: If Biden’s proposal for “family infrastructure” and climate change doesn’t pass, then neither will the bipartisan infrastructure deal that senators just struck. Think of this as a Plan B after Sens. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.) and KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-Ariz.) refused to promise they’ll support Part 2, Democrats’ multitrillion-dollar reconciliation package.
But the Biden-Schumer-Pelosi playbook also has the makings of a serious legislative cluster — and high drama over whether Democrats can actually pull this off — this summer and possibly into the fall.
Here’s your new timeline, according to Hill sources, and bear with us for a bit of procedural wonkery:
1) The Senate will turn the bipartisan agreement into legislative text in the coming days so it can pass it out of the chamber in July. The House will likely have its own version. But instead of conferencing and approving a combined bill for Biden’s signature before the August recess, leaders will put infrastructure on ice until the Democrats-only bill catches up.
2) Schumer and Pelosi plan to have both their chambers pass their respective budget resolutions before the August recess, enabling Democrats to unlock the fast-tracking reconciliation tool.
3) That budget will include instructions for each committee to tackle everything from corporate tax hikes to climate change, education, paid family leave and the like — in other words, everything Democrats want that’s not included in the bipartisan infrastructure package. The panels will work over the August recess to draft the massive reconciliation bill, which Sen. BERNIE SANDERS (I-Vt.) hopes will top $6 trillion.
4) When lawmakers return in September from the August recess, they’ll have a few weeks to clear both bills at the same time. The new deadline for getting both to Biden’s desk, per Democratic leaders, is Sept. 30, when a bunch of surface transportation programs expire.
Now, the pitfalls: First off, getting all Democrats to agree on a budget resolution in July is going to be hellish for Schumer and Pelosi. They have virtually no wiggle room due to their slim majorities, and their conferences are divided over how big this Democrats-only bill should be. Expect more Manchin and Sinema flexing.
Stock up on popcorn.
I was really happy to read this from HuffPo. It’s written by Jennifer Bendry. “Joe Biden Is Confirming Judges Faster Than Decades Of Past Presidents. Five months in, the president has quietly hit a milestone in filling lifetime seats on federal courts.”. Go Joe Go!
President Joe Biden quietly hit a milestone on Thursday: With the help of Senate Democrats, he has confirmed more lifetime federal judges than any president has done in more than 50 years by this point in their first six months in office.
With the Senate’s latest confirmation of Candace Jackson-Akiwumi to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, Biden has confirmed a total of seven judges. These are specifically Article III judges, who hold lifetime appointments on federal district courts, appeals courts and on the Supreme Court.
Broken down, Biden has confirmed five district court judges and two appeals court judges so far.
By this point in their presidencies, Donald Trump had confirmed two lifetime federal judges (one of whom was a Supreme Court justice, Neil Gorsuch), Barack Obama had confirmed zero, George W. Bush had confirmed zero, Bill Clinton had confirmed zero, George H.W. Bush had confirmed four, Ronald Reagan had confirmed zero, and Jimmy Carter had confirmed four.
Going back even further, the comparison isn’t really applicable to President Gerald Ford, who took over for Richard Nixon in 1974 along with his pending judicial nominees.
The last time a president moved this quickly to confirm judges was in 1969, more than 50 years ago, when Nixon had confirmed seven judges by this point in his first year in the White House.
It’s still early in Biden’s presidency. A rapid start to confirming judges doesn’t necessarily mean he will surpass the massive number of judges that Trump ultimately confirmed, for example. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) helped Trump confirm more than 230 lifetime federal judges during his four years in the White House.
Hope he can keep this up!
This Pro Publica piece has me worried about the Revenge Rallies. “New Details Suggest Senior Trump Aides Knew Jan. 6 Rally Could Get Chaotic. Text messages and interviews show that Stop the Steal leaders fooled the Capitol police and welcomed racists to increase their crowd sizes, while White House officials worked to both contain and appease them.”
On Dec. 19, President Donald Trump blasted out a tweet to his 88 million followers, inviting supporters to Washington for a “wild” protest.
Earlier that week, one of his senior advisers had released a 36-page report alleging significant evidence of election fraud that could reverse Joe Biden’s victory. “A great report,” Trump wrote. “Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election. Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”
The tweet worked like a starter’s pistol, with two pro-Trump factions competing to take control of the “big protest.”
On one side stood Women for America First, led by Amy Kremer, a Republican operative who helped found the tea party movement. The group initially wanted to hold a kind of extended oral argument, with multiple speakers making their case for how the election had been stolen.
On the other was Stop the Steal, a new, more radical group that had recruited avowed racists to swell its ranks and wanted the President to share the podium with Alex Jones, the radio host banned from the world’s major social media platforms for hate speech, misinformation and glorifying violence. Stop the Steal organizers say their plan was to march on the Capitol and demand that lawmakers give Trump a second term.
ProPublica has obtained new details about the Trump White House’s knowledge of the gathering storm, after interviewing more than 50 people involved in the events of Jan. 6 and reviewing months of private correspondence. Taken together, these accounts suggest that senior Trump aides had been warned the Jan. 6 events could turn chaotic, with tens of thousands of people potentially overwhelming ill-prepared law enforcement officials.
Rather than trying to halt the march, Trump and his allies accommodated its leaders, according to text messages and interviews with Republican operatives and officials.
Katrina Pierson, a former Trump campaign official assigned by the White House to take charge of the rally planning, helped arrange a deal where those organizers deemed too extreme to speak at the Ellipse could do so on the night of Jan. 5. That event ended up including incendiary speeches from Jones and Ali Alexander, the leader of Stop the Steal, who fired up his followers with a chant of “Victory or death!”
Read more at the link. That’s enough for me. Have a good weekend!
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?