When you want to make a difference and a blog like this is all you can think of.  FYI: This is my deaf dog Princess. She has nothing to do with this blog. I just like the picture.


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An Historic Plan and the Right’s Big Money Effort to Kill It

U.S. Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney was on Morning Joe recently talking about President Joe Biden’s proposed $3.5 trillion plan calling for investments in things like education, health care, child support, the climate crisis, infrastructure, and the nation’s social safety net.

I’m a big Maloney fan, and he said a couple of things that really stood out. One was that Democrats “do more bedwetting than learning.” (I really liked that one) The other was a request that the media and public spend less time fixating on the cost of the bill and more time looking at what’s in it.

So, let’s do that, using a recent CNN article that explored the bill’s contents.

Here we go:

*Establishes a universal Pre-K program for 3-and-4-year-olds accessible to all income levels. It’s estimated to benefit 5 million children and save the average family about $13,000. The states would be required to foot about 50 percent of the cost when the measure is fully up and running.

*Extend the expansions of the child tax credit, the earned income tax credit, and the child and dependent care tax credit, which were part of the Democrats $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan but are set to expire after this year. For example, families could receive a child tax credit totaling $3,600 for each child under 6 and $3,000 for each one under 18. Half is paid out in monthly advance installments, and the other half can be claimed at tax time.

*Enhances child care for working families. Low-and-middle-income households would pay no more than 7 percent of their income on child care for kids younger than age 5. Parents earning up to 1.5 times the median income of their state would qualify. Invests in the child care workforce to bring wages up to $15 an hour from the typical hourly rate of $12.24 they earned in 2020.

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Are the Crybabies the Only Ones With Rights?

An outline of the Biden Administration’s comprehensive Covid-19 action plan

If you have half a brain, you’ve probably sat and watched in amazement at the historic level of stupidity some of our fellow Americans have shown in dealing with the coronavirus.

To be fair, it is a minority of our population, but it’s big enough to continue to throw a pretty big money wrench into the efforts of President Joe Biden and his administration to fight the pandemic crisis dumped on him by his predecessor.

The latest squawking from the Right is over several mandates Biden has announced concerning vaccines. They include:

*Requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested weekly.

*Requiring vaccinations for all federal workers and for millions of contractors that do business with the federal government.

*Requiring vaccinations for over 17 million health care workers at Medicare and Medicaid participating hospitals and other health care settings.

*Requiring employers to provide paid time off for workers to get vaccinated.

*Calling on large entertainment venues to require proof of vaccination or testing for entry.

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Say it Every Day: They Killed Us and They Didn’t Care

If you read one book, read this one.

If you learn one thing about the four-year national nightmare that was the presidential term of Donald Trump, learn this.

If you need one reason to pull the lever for every Democratic candidate on the ballot, or to try to convince your friends and family to do so, this is it.

More than 600,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the United States so far. Tragedy heaped upon tragedy. And, while some deaths were unavoidable, it didn’t have to be this way. It didn’t have to be this way if they cared.

But they didn’t care.

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Mining For Votes in Our Nation’s Collective Vagina

The five conservative members of the U.S. Supreme Court who voted to allow Texas’s new restrictive abortion law to stand pending further litigation have nine daughters of various ages between them.

If any of their kids had been raped and impregnated as teenagers or young women, either by an unknown attacker, a family member, or someone they know, how many of them would have been forced with no choice to carry the child to term.

My guess: Damn few, if any.

You see, if you have the money and connections to whisk away a pregnant teenager to a clandestine medical procedure, illegal restrictive measures like the Texas law won’t have any effect on you.

And you probably wouldn’t give much thought to the poor girl on the other side of town whose mother’s boyfriend raped her and then threatened to kill her if she told anyone. Then to add insult to injury, she’s told that the law requires her to give birth to her rapist’s baby because it cruelly doesn’t make exceptions for victims of rape and incest.

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Two Must-Read Threads For Democrats

I don’t read a lot of Twitter threads, mostly because they can be kind of long, and I can be kind of too lazy to put in the time.

But I saw a couple recently that I just had to share. One is by David Rothkopf, a professor of international relations, political scientist, and journalist. The other is by Tom Nichols, an academic specialist on international affairs. You might have seen one or both of them doing commentary on MSNBC.

In his thread, Rothkopf reminds us of the impressive accomplishments of President Joe Biden’s administration, something that can easily get lost among the media second guessing and the full-out attacks from the Republicans. It should be noted that the thread was done before the death of 13 military members at the Kabul airport, but I think it still rings true.

Nichols offers good advice on how Democrats should deal with all the Republican bullshit (my word, not his).

Neither man tries to paint Biden as doing a perfect job – which he hasn’t. Both offer excellent advice for Democrats navigating these days of multiple crises.

Here’s what Rothkopf had to say:

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Let Biden Do His Job

My U.S. congressman is a GOP bottom-feeder named Mike Kelly.

On Thursday, in the aftermath of the explosion at the Kabul airport that killed 13 members of the U.S. military, Kelly posted this on Facebook:

“It’s been nearly a year since the last U.S. casualty in Afghanistan. Then in one day 12 U.S. Servicemen killed and more wounded. This is an absolute failure of leadership from this Administration. My sincere condolences to the families that lost HEROES today.”

What Kelly did here is step over the bodies of 13 brave soldiers to make a political attack against President Joe Biden. Like so many other Republicans, these fallen heroes were more important to him as political props that as human beings with families back home now facing their tragic loss.

What happened to the days when the GOP would excoriate critics of the Iraq War with accusations of them not supporting the troops? By their reasoning, wanting to get our military men and women out of harm’s way was not backing them, but pushing to keep them in a questionable deadly conflict was.

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: The Scam That Keeps On Giving

Four years ago, the Republican Party took advantage of its consolidation of power in the Senate, House, and White House to pass what remains its most significant – and characteristic — “accomplishment” to date.

They passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a pro-rich scam based on the disproven theory of trickle-down economics. Forget sex, this was the GOP’s greatest wet dream come true. A thrill of organismic proportions, rivaled only by their near successful attempt at taking health care away from millions of Americans.

News reports over the years have revealed the sliminess and dishonesty of the Republicans’ effort to carve out an even wider gap between the rich and their poor and middle-class counterparts in this county. And they continue to this day as ProPublica released a story this month titled, “How the Trump Tax Law Created a Loophole That Lets Top Executives Net Millions by Slashing Their Own Salaries.”

It seems the Tax Act made it more attractive for certain company owners to be paid in profits instead of wages, so some cut their own pay so they could expand a loophole that was already costing the United States billions.

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Don’t Say You Weren’t Warned, the Cheating Has Begun

Source: democraticunderground.com

There’s something going on in Georgia that should scare the hell out of any Democrat.

For that matter, it should scare the hell out of anyone who believes our democracy should be protected, including from one of our two major political parties.

Georgia’s controversial new election law allows the state to take over a county’s voting operations, and Republicans there are making a move on heavily Democratic Fulton County, which includes the city of Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

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It Costs a Lot to Kill Democracy; It’ll Cost a Lot More to Lose It

Our Democracy is priceless. Maybe that’s why the Right is spending so much money to kill it.

Jane Mayer is a terrific writer and the author of the book “Dark Money.” Her recent story on the New Yorker website: The Big Money Behind the Big Lie: Donald Trump’s attacks on democracy are being promoted by rich and powerful conservative groups that are determined to win at all costs, is an eye-opening must-read for anyone who wants to understand the lengths to which the Republicans are willing to go to try to win elections.

In many cases, the money is laundered through so called “social welfare organizations” – dark money groups that are allowed to keep their donors’ identities secret. These organizations have promoted the myth of rampant voter fraud, AKA The Big Lie. They’ve drafted, supported, and taken credit for state laws that make it harder to vote. In every way, shape, and form they are the enemy of our democratic way of life.

A big player is all this is the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, a Milwaukee-based private tax-exempt organization that, Mayer writes, “has become an extraordinary force in persuading mainstream Republicans to support radical challenges to election rules.”

The foundation isn’t a Johnny-Come-Lately when it comes to supporting this corrupt cause. Since 2012, it’s spent $18 million (it has an $850 million endowment) supporting a network of conservative groups involved in election issues, Mayer reported.

By election issues we mean pushing the myth of voter fraud to try to justify laws that suppress the vote or that allow Republican-controlled state legislatures to declare their candidate the winner, even if he or she loses.

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Will Democrats Snatch Defeat From the Jaws of Victory?

Coming into President Joe Biden’s first term in office, a 50-50 split in the Senate with a Democratic vice president to break a tie vote meant that any significant legislation would probably have to be done by reconciliation.

Sure enough, Biden’s historic $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed with only Democratic votes. His next big proposal was an infrastructure bill of about $2.2 trillion. Since then, his plan has evolved into two separate bills – one for “hard infrastructure,” like roads, bridges, pipes, ports, and Internet connections, and another for “human infrastructure,” such as education, child care, and climate programs

Democrats and Republicans have reached a tentative agreement on a $1 trillion bill for hard infrastructure. It avoided dying at the hands of a filibuster when 17 Senate Republicans joined Democrats in advancing it to a vote.

Everyone agrees the human infrastructure bill will be accomplished only by reconciliation, as it’s expected to receive no Republican support. Still, if Biden and the Democrats can enter the 2022 midterms with those three legislative accomplishments, they have a chance to defy the historical trend of the party in power taking a beating at the two-year mark of a president’s initial term.

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