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Offline Rick Plant

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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #1448 on: May 25, 2023, 08:40:32 AM »
'It turned out to be a mistake’: Botched rollout puts DeSantis on his heels
He portrays himself as a low-drama alternative to Donald Trump. His campaign launch was the picture of disorder.

Texas Republicans pass school bill slammed as 'defunding public education'

A school funding bill that would enact a voucher program for education in Texas was passed by the state Senate right before midnight Tuesday – and has been slammed by opponents as "defunding public education."

The Senate's version of House Bill 100 would give parents who opt out of the public schools up to $8,000 in taxpayer money per student per year to pay for private education.

The original version of the bill had included allocating $4.5 billion in new funding for teacher pay raises and other budget expenses for schools. The House had rejected the voucher-like program, the Texas Tribune reported.

Democratic strategist Sawyer Hackett posted a copy of the revamped H.B. 100 on his Twitter account, saying it "strips money from public schools to fund private vouchers. But in the process of latching vouchers to the bill— they killed teacher pay raises and money for special education."

He added: "Republicans in the Texas Senate passed a bill defunding public education."

He also pointed out that the vote "happened on the one-year anniversary of the massacre at Robb Elementary in Uvalde."

Local Fox4 News called the final bill "drastically different" than it was when it began. The report implied it was a last-minute, slap-dash effort to simply pass something.

"The Senate voted 18-13 to advance its version of House Bill 100. Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, joined Democrats in voting against the bill," the report said.

The legislation between the two chambers is so different that the House must now pass the bill again, after previously approving its version. It isn't expected to pass in its current form.

"The bill now heads back to the House, where members will most likely have to negotiate the differences with the Senate," Fox4 explained. "But with only five days left in the Legislative session, it's a race against time for both chambers to reach a compromise."

All of it is to appease Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX), who told lawmakers he wanted a "voucher bill," and that he wouldn't sign anything that didn't fund his private schools. If it doesn't happen, Abbott said he's not above calling a special session if they don't pass the bill he likes.

The first bill was a Republican proposal for $4.5 billion in new funding for schools, and modest pay raises for teachers while balancing their budgets "as inflation diminishes the value of the money they get from the state," the report said.

The new bill is only $3.8 billion with half a billion goes to private school vouchers.

According to the Private School Review, "the average private school tuition in Texas is $10,454 per year (2023). The private elementary school average tuition cost is $10,067 per year and the private high school average is $11,497 per year."

A Feb. 2023 piece in The Nation by education experts Jack Schneider and Jennifer C. Berkshire called voucher programs like this a kind of reverse Robin Hood, which robs from the poor to deliver the best education to the wealthy.

Read More Here: https://www.fox4news.com/news/texas-senate-passes-revamped-school-funding-bill-in-last-minute-bid-to-implement-voucher-program

Laughter breaks out on House floor when Marjorie Taylor Greene calls for 'decorum'

In an awkward moment on Wednesday, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) banged the gavel on the House floor and demanded "decorum." The request led to laughter from her colleagues due to the perceived irony.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) was one of them, tweeting, "I haven’t laughed this hard in a while — but Marjorie Taylor Greene just called for 'decorum' on the House Floor."

The video shows that Greene kept banging the gavel, but Democrats kept laughing anyway.

The irony stems from the idea that decorum generally requires propriety and polite behavior, which is the opposite of what many colleagues think of Greene's frequent outbursts on the House floor, especially as they relate to Joe Biden and his family.

"Remember, Greene was the one heckling President Biden during the State of the Union. Democrats laughed at her for good reason," tweeted lawyer Aaron Parnas.

Democratic commentator Kaivan Shroff also noted: "Greene has been a vocal supporter of the January 6th Capitol terror attack."


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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #1448 on: May 25, 2023, 08:40:32 AM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #1449 on: May 25, 2023, 08:49:53 AM »
If the MAGA House GOP forces a default, many programs families rely on, including veterans care, Medicare, Meals on Wheels, and more, will see severe cuts that will hurt working and low-income Americans.

To everyone EXCEPT MAGA extremists, it's a pretty easy choice. #MAGADefaultCrisis

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #1450 on: May 26, 2023, 08:20:11 AM »
MAGA Republicans do not care about our country or the impact a default will have on the lives of Americans. MAGA Republicans want to destroy President Biden's historic economy so they can attack him throughout the 2024 election campaign. That's all that this is and leaving Washington continues to prove it. It's only when a Democrat is president that Republicans hold the economy hostage. When a Republican is president, Republicans pay off the debt.   

'Manufactured MAGA madness': GOP slammed for 'running out of town' as economic chaos looms

House Democrats are blasting their GOP colleagues for exiting Washington, D.C. just days before the U.S. is expected to run out of cash and, for the first time in history, be unable to pay its debts – unless Congress passes legislation to raise the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has repeatedly warned that June 1 is the likely deadline, as Republicans reportedly don’t believe her. Experts agree the results of a default would be globally catastrophic.

Among the likely outcomes would be potentially massive increases in interest rates, social security recipients not getting paid, businesses with government contracts not getting paid, layoffs and spiking unemployment, potential bank runs, a recession, lack of confidence in the U.S. dollar, destabilizing world financial markets, and increased international reliance on America’s enemies including China, further destabilizing the U.S.

Three weeks ago the Biden administration published a report showing that “defaulting on our government’s debt could reverse the historic economic gains that have been achieved since the president took office: an unemployment rate near a 50-year low, the creation of 12.6 million jobs, and robust consumer spending that has consistently powered a solid, reliable growth engine, supported by paychecks from the strong job market and healthy household balance sheets.”

House Democrats are insisting this is actually the goal of the GOP, and warning them to not do so.

Democrats are urging Republicans to stay in Washington until the job is done, but the Republican-majority House, under Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s leadership, is, as one Democrat put it, “running out of town.”

“We’re here. We continue to work,” House Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries told Politico’s Nicholas Wu. “We want to get a resolution of this manufactured default crisis. And unfortunately, Republicans have chosen to get out of town.”

On the House floor, Leader Jeffries continued to pound Republicans.

“This is a default crisis that is manufactured MAGA madness,” Jeffries declared, rightly noting that the debt ceiling crisis is an entirely made-up construct that doesn’t even exist in most other countries. “It is repugnant, reckless and reprehensible. It’s unacceptable. It’s unconscionable and it’s un-American. And that’s why House Democrats have remained on the House floor fighting hard for every-day Americans. That’s why we are here. And we will continue to fight for working families, continue to fight for middle class folks, continue to fight for all those who aspire to be part of the middle class, continue to fight for young people, continue to fight for older Americans, continue to fight for veterans, continue to fight for military families, continue to fight for people in urban America and rural America and suburban America and small town America and the heartland of America, continue to fight for the people in Appalachia, continue to fight for the poor, the sick and the afflicted, continue to fight for the least, the lost, and the left behind. House Democrats will continue to fight for every-day Americans to avoid the fault and we will not rest until victory is won.”

Leader Jeffries also noted that Democrats “helped make sure we avoided default three times, notwithstanding the fact that in our country’s 247 year history 25% of the nation’s debt was racked up under the four years of the Trump administration.”

“How dare you lecture America about fiscal responsibility with that shameful record, notwithstanding the fact that you’ve racked up unprecedented amounts of debt to subsidize the rich, the richest amongst us, and big corporations. We never threatened to default.”

He accused Republicans of making “a political calculation that you will be successful in 2024 if you crash the economy.”

“That’s wrong. That’s cruel. That’s un-American, because you’ll be hurting veterans, hurting children, hurting seniors, hurting young people, hurting every-day Americans. And that’s why Democrats are here today in Washington fighting hard against this unreasonable manufactured default crisis.”


DeSantis is 'virtue signaling' to Trump base with threats against the FBI: Anthony Scaramucci

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has kicked off his 2024 presidential campaign by emulating former President Donald Trump's attacks on law enforcement, vowing to get rid of FBI Director Christopher Wray — a Trump appointee, but long a thorn in the side of the former president because he didn't personally shut down the Russia investigation — and suggesting he could pardon some January 6 insurrectionists on a case-by-case basis.

All of this is just a cynical "virtue signal," said former White House communications chief Anthony Scaramucci on CNN Thursday.

"No one should be surprised, but it sure says a lot about the Republican Party that the two leading candidates right now are going after the most important and legitimate institutions of law and order in this country," said anchor Anderson Cooper.

"I mean, just harken back 30 years ago where the Republican Party was the law and order party," said Scaramucci. "But this is all virtue signaling to their side. And so this is a little bit ironic in Governor DeSantis, because he doesn't like the woke culture, he wants to rebuke the left for doing the same thing that he is doing on the right."

"A more sensible strategy — a more presidential look — would be that, I respect the rule of law, I will meet with everybody and evaluate the personnel that I'm bringing into the White House and the personnel that I'm keeping, and typically we keep the FBI director. And so Chris Wray shouldn't be let go," said Scaramucci, adding, "If he talked like that, though, he probably wouldn't get anywhere close to the Republican nomination, Anderson."

"So that's the big problem right now," said Scaramucci. "Who is going to step up in the chasm and actually speak like a president, think like a president, unite the country, bring our values back together and talk to people in a commonsense way instead of listening to political consultants telling them well, you got to get further to the right of Donald Trump, because if he falls out of the race, you're going to be the guy that takes over, and you've got to get his base. So I'm hoping for a more transformative candidate than that, instead of this stuff that we're getting right now."


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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #1450 on: May 26, 2023, 08:20:11 AM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #1451 on: May 26, 2023, 08:40:20 AM »
Opinion: DC insider: Biden should ignore the debt ceiling

I want to start today with a bit of history that sheds some light on what’s happening in Washington this week and what Biden should do about the debt-ceiling crisis created by Kevin McCarthy’s Republican House.
On October 22, 1985, Treasury Secretary James A. Baker III told congressional leaders that if Congress failed to raise the debt ceiling by the end of the month, the Reagan administration would pay the nation’s bills by taking back Treasury securities in which Social Security had invested.

I remember being stunned at the time. It was an extraordinary move. It meant Social Security would lose interest paid on its funds.

If Congress still didn’t raise the debt ceiling, Baker said the administration would borrow from the railroad retirement and military retirement trust funds.

And if the impasse continued, the administration would begin selling gold from the U.S. gold reserve “even though that could undercut confidence here and abroad based on the widespread belief that the gold reserve is the foundation of our financial system,” Baker said.

Baker’s point was that the Reagan administration would continue to find ways to pay the nation’s bills, come hell or high water.

An agreement was finally reached after the Reagan administration had begun raiding Social Security but before it took any other measures.

The comptroller general of the United States later found Baker’s raid on Social Security technically illegal but concluded nonetheless that Baker “did not act unreasonably” under the circumstances.

I recount this history to give you some perspective on the current debt-ceiling crisis, and what I believe should be Biden’s next move.

First, showdowns over the debt ceiling have been going on for a long time.

Second, they have often been fueled by soaring national debts due to Republican tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations. (The 1985 standoff involved a refusal by Senate Democrats to support a balanced budget, even though Reagan’s mammoth spending on the military and huge tax cut had doubled the national debt in less than five years.)

Finally, fights over the debt ceiling have required Treasury secretaries to do extraordinary things to keep paying the nation’s bills — sometimes technically illegal.

Hence, there have never been “X-dates” at which time the Treasury runs dry. There are just ever more extreme government bookkeeping measures.

And there is no end to the measures the Treasury might use to keep paying the bills. Although their legality of some might be dubious, who is to complain? Who is to say a Treasury secretary acted unreasonably in paying a lawful claim on the U.S. government?

This standoff is different in one respect. Previous standoffs have been carefully crafted dramas in which both sides demonstrate their commitments to their position, knowing full well how the play will end — with the debt ceiling lifted.

This time, though, gonzo lawmakers like Marjorie Taylor Greene and raving nut-jobs like the current Republican frontrunner for president have considerable influence.

And unlike Bob Dole in 1985, these players have no real commitment to cutting the government debt. (Were that their goal, presumably they wouldn’t have supported the massive 2017 tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations that fueled the debt, or would now urge its repeal. And they certainly wouldn’t demand cuts in staffing for the IRS, which House Republicans are also now doing.)

Their only commitment is to power — gaining dominance over, and submission from, Democrats, progressives, putative “coastal elites,” and so-called “deep state” bureaucrats.

For them, this is not play-acting. It’s not for show. It’s for real. If they don’t get their way, they’re prepared to blow up the economy.

In fact, as the so-called X-date appears to loom ever closer, their demands have escalated. And as Biden appears ready to give in to some of those demands, the demands will continue to escalate.

Which is why it’s critical for Biden to stop negotiating.

Meanwhile, he should continue paying the government’s bills and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen should continue using every bookkeeping scheme imaginable to find the means to pay those bills.

And they must never declare an “X-date.” And must never default.

If Kevin McCarthy and his band of radicals don’t like this, let them take the Biden administration to court.

Let House Republicans argue in the courts that the 1917 act establishing the debt ceiling has precedence over Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, which requires that the “the validity of the public debt …. shall not be questioned.”

Let them claim in the courts that the 1917 debt-ceiling act takes precedence over more recent acts of Congress that require the president to, for example, pay interest on the federal debt, distribute Social Security benefits, and pay bills from defense contractors and everyone else who has relied on the full faith and credit of the United States.

Let McCarthy and House Republicans argue that they have standing to sue Biden for having the audacity to pay the government’s debts as they come due.

Finally, let McCarthy, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and the other loonies demand openly and publicly in court that Biden not honor the full faith and credit of the United States — with the predictable results that the cost of borrowing skyrockets, bond markets crash, the stock market plummets, the global economy is in turmoil, the dollar’s status as the world’s major currency is up for grabs, America is plunged into a deep recession, and millions of jobs are lost.

In other words, let McCarthy and House Republicans seek to enforce their dangerous nonsense about the debt ceiling — so that Americans can see clearly what they’re up to.


White House Steps Up Antisemitism Monitoring in New Strategy

A slate of new actions comes as anti-Jewish episodes increase: Biden, Emhoff headline a White House event on Thursday

President Joe Biden directed federal law enforcement agencies to better monitor anti-Jewish and other bias cases, and urged social-media companies and schools to crack down on hate speech, as part of a first-of-its-kind national strategy to combat antisemitism.

The White House on Thursday released a 60-page strategy, which includes more than 100 new actions federal agencies are taking to address a rising number of incidents. The White House said all will be completed within a year.

“This US national strategy to counter antisemitism is a historic step forward,” Biden said in a recorded video message introducing the plan. “It sends a clear and forceful message: in America, evil will not win. Hate will not prevail. The venom and violence of antisemitism will not be the story of our time.”

The strategy aims to bolster education on antisemitism and Jewish-American heritage, improve security for Jewish communities, reverse the “normalization” of antisemitism and counter antisemitic discrimination, according to the strategy document. The White House is partnering with organizations including the National Basketball Association Players Association, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other faith and civil-rights groups.

Antisemitic episodes in the US reached a four-decade high in 2022, according to the Anti-Defamation League, up 36% from the previous record a year before. The ADL started tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979.

Biden rolled out the strategy at live-streamed event along with Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, the first Jewish spouse of a US president or vice president, and other senior administration officials who worked on it. Emhoff has been the public face of White House efforts on antisemitism.

“This plan will save lives. Our work to counter antisemitism will not stop with the release of this national strategy. We are dedicated to its implementation,” Emhoff said.

Earlier: Emhoff Urges ‘Bold Action’ From US, Europe to Fight Antisemitism

The plan is the White House’s most sweeping policy response yet to a surge of hateful rhetoric and violence against Jews in the US. It faced calls from lawmakers and civil-rights groups to do more to crack down on hate crimes and counter public expressions of hatred against Jews.

The White House plan includes:

- An annual threat assessment by the FBI and National Counter-terrorism Center on “antisemitic drivers of transnational violent extremism” to be shared with technology companies and others.

- Eliminating obstacles to reporting hate incidents to the federal government.

- Including antisemitism in diversity, equity and inclusion training for federal workers.

- Urging online platforms to ensure that their terms of service explicitly cover antisemitism and adopt zero-tolerance policies for hate speech.

- The Education Department will establish an antisemitic awareness campaign directed at K-12 and college students that also reminds schools of their legal obligation to address bias complaints.

- The US Holocaust Memorial Museum will launch a new education and research center.

The focus on social media could put the White House on a collision course with Twitter Inc. owner Elon Musk, who has removed speech restrictions from the platform. Studies have shown that hate speech has increased on Twitter since Musk’s purchase.

An interagency group formed last December, led by outgoing domestic policy adviser Susan Rice and homeland security adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall drafted the strategy. Rice said the administration consulted with tech companies, along with a thousand Jewish leaders and other stakeholders, in drafting the plan.

“They know very clearly where we stand on on these issues,” Rice said in an interview. “So this won’t and shouldn’t come as a surprise to them when they read it in the national strategy.”

The plan adopts a definition of antisemitism in line with one used by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. The US uses that definition, which also considers certain forms of anti-Zionism as antisemitism. Some liberal groups opposed it, arguing it could stifle criticism of the Israeli government.

“When Jews are targeted because of their beliefs or their identity, when Israel is singled out because of anti-Jewish hatred, that is antisemitism. And that is unacceptable,” the strategy reads.

“There has been no change in our posture on this and the strategy will be clear,” Rice said.

Biden indicated that confronting antisemitism was a priority when he said the 2017 white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which tiki-torch carrying marchers chanted “Jews will not replace us,” helped motivate him to run for president. But the problem has persisted.

More recently, high-profile figures including former President Donald Trump; the performer formerly known as Kanye West and basketball star Kyrie Irving have made antisemitic comments or shared antisemitic content.

Musk last week likened billionaire George Soros to the Jewish comic book supervillain Magneto. Soros is a Holocaust survivor, and some of his critics have turned his liberal political activism into antisemitic conspiracy theories. Musk denies that he was attacking Soros over his background.

Deborah Lipstadt, the US special envoy for monitoring and combating antisemitism, said no administration would be able to extinguish an ancient hatred, but the plan could still make inroads. 

“We won’t solve the problem. But if we can contain it, if we can reverse it, if we can get people to say this is serious, for me, that will be sufficient,” Lipstadt said in an interview.


Offline Rick Plant

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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #1452 on: May 27, 2023, 08:49:04 AM »
Bigotry and megalomania': Scientific American Editorial board warns of DeSantis’ 'antiscience agenda

Former top FBI official slams DeSantis after declaring he’d fire the director 'on day one'

The battle against fascism in Florida: Lessons on how to beat back authoritarianism from abroad
The situation in Florida clearly represents a threat to American democracy

Embattled GOP Texas AG Ken Paxton calls for protest at the state Capitol

Embattled Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday called on supporters to protest at the state Capitol when the Republican-controlled House takes up impeachment proceedings that could lead to his ouster, The Associated Press reports.

A five-member state House committee on Thursday voted unanimously to recommend Paxton’s impeachment on corruption charges, sending the 60-year-old Republican’s fate to the House for a vote scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

Paxton is accused of corruption charges including accepting bribes, disregarding his official duty, and obstruction of justice in a pending securities fraud case.

Paxton if impeached would be immediately suspended from office and Republican Gov. Greg Abbott could appoint an interim replacement.

Paxton at a news conference in which he declined to answer questions called the impeachment proceedings “political theater” that he said would “inflict lasting damage on the Texas House.”

“I want to invite my fellow citizens and friends to peacefully come let their voices be heard at the Capitol tomorrow,” he said.

“Exercise your right to petition your government.”

Paxton’s calls for protest are similar to those made by former President Donald Trump’s calls for his supporters to protest his 2020 election defeat that led to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Paxton’s odds of surviving Saturday’s impeachment vote in the 149-member House, where a simple majority is required to impeach, are reportedly grim.

If all 64 Democrats vote along party lines, just 11 of 85 Republicans would need to vote to impeach.

If the impeachment proceedings clear that hurdle, the matter would go to the Senate for a “trial,” where a two-thirds majority is required for removal from office.

Read Full Article Here: https://apnews.com/article/texas-attorney-general-paxton-impeachment-2862e3f786dd1e832a011095fb52a38a

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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #1452 on: May 27, 2023, 08:49:04 AM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #1453 on: May 28, 2023, 09:12:26 AM »
White House, Republicans reach tentative debt ceiling deal

Speaker McCarthy, who announced the agreement Saturday night, will speak with GOP lawmakers on Saturday night to outline the agreement.

WASHINGTON — Key negotiators struck an agreement in principle Saturday night to extend the debt ceiling and avert a catastrophic default, just days before the Treasury Department says the U.S. could run out of money, Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Saturday.

The deal — which is expected to raise the country's borrowing authority in exchange for cuts to spending — still has to be converted into legislative language and pass both the Republican-led House and Democratic-controlled Senate. It follows weeks of negotiations led by President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy, amid demands by the GOP to extract spending cuts in exchange for allowing the nation to continue to pay the bills.

"We’ve come to an agreement in principle that is worthy of the American people," McCarthy said Saturday on Twitter.

"We still have more work to do tonight to finish all the writing of it," McCarthy told reporters afterward outside his Capitol office, adding that he expects to post the text on Sunday and hold a House vote on it Wednesday.

He added that he'll speak to Biden again on Sunday.

A source familiar with the agreement said it includes a two-year appropriations deal and a two-year debt limit extension, effectively resolving the issue until after the 2024 election. It'll include work requirements for federal aid like SNAP for Americans up to 54, with exceptions for homeless people and veterans. But there will be "no changes to Medicaid," the source added.

By averting the crisis, the White House would be sidestepping a first-ever default that threatens to wipe out millions of jobs and devastate the American economy, rocking faith in Biden's leadership — and the divided Congress — as he embarks on a reelection bid.

Biden and McCarthy spent an hour and a half on a call Saturday night, a rare one-on-one conversation between the two leaders that followed days of fraught talks over the final sticking points.

Top Republicans had been in and out of the speaker's office on Saturday as negotiations continued, with some of the talks taking place virtually and by phone. Shalanda Young, a top negotiator for the White House, was in Louisiana to deliver graduation remarks at Xavier University where she quipped that the two-hour break was "the most fun I’ve had in two weeks.”

Republican leaders began preparing to sell a bill to the GOP conference late Friday with a deal still out of reach.

Conservatives skeptical of Republican leadership had threatened to hold up the bill if the speaker struck a deal with Democrats that failed to slash spending, with one outside adviser warning of coming “trench warfare.”

McCarthy has said in recent days he'll give members 72 hours to review the text before holding a floor vote. And Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, has threatened to block a speedy vote in the Senate if he isn't satisfied with the terms of the deal, meaning it could take days for the chamber to jump through procedural hoops before a vote.

Extending the debt ceiling doesn’t authorize new spending into the future; it enables the U.S. to pay existing debts that both parties have accumulated over many years through demands for higher spending on domestic and military programs, as well as lower taxes.


Texas House votes to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton, triggering suspension

Following the 121-23 vote, Paxton was is automatically suspended from office pending the Senate trial. Final removal would require a two-thirds vote in the Senate.

AUSTIN — Texas’ Republican-led House of Representatives impeached state Attorney General Ken Paxton on Saturday on articles including bribery and abuse of public trust, a sudden, historic rebuke of a GOP official who rose to be a star of the conservative legal movement despite years of scandal and alleged crimes.

Impeachment triggers Paxton’s immediate suspension from office pending the outcome of a trial in the state Senate and empowers Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to appoint someone else as Texas’ top lawyer in the interim.

The 121-23 vote constitutes an abrupt downfall for one of the GOP’s most prominent legal combatants, who in 2020 asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn President Joe Biden’s electoral defeat of Donald Trump. It makes Paxton only the third sitting official in Texas’ nearly 200-year history to have been impeached.

Paxton, 60, decried the move moments after scores of his fellow partisans voted for impeachment, and his office pointed to internal reports that found no wrongdoing.

“The ugly spectacle in the Texas House today confirmed the outrageous impeachment plot against me was never meant to be fair or just,” Paxton said. “It was a politically motivated sham from the beginning.”

Paxton has been under FBI investigation for years over accusations that he used his office to help a donor and was separately indicted on securities fraud charges in 2015, though he has yet to stand trial. His party had long taken a muted stance on the allegations — but that changed this week as 60 of the House’s 85 Republicans, including Speaker Dade Phelan, voted to impeach.

“No one person should be above the law, least not the top law officer of the state of Texas,” Rep. David Spiller, a Republican member of the committee that investigated Paxton, said in opening statements. Another Republican committee member, Rep. Charlie Geren, said without elaborating that Paxton had called some lawmakers before the vote and threatened them with political “consequences.”

Lawmakers allied with Paxton tried to discredit the investigation by noting that hired investigators, not panel members, interviewed witnesses. They also said several of the investigators had voted in Democratic primaries, tainting the impeachment, and that they had too little time to review evidence.

“I perceive it could be political weaponization,” Rep. Tony Tinderholt, one of the House’s most conservative members, said before the vote. Republican Rep. John Smithee compared the proceeding to “a Saturday mob out for an afternoon lynching.”

Paxton has been under FBI investigation for years over accusations that he used his office to help a donor and was separately indicted on securities fraud charges in 2015, though he has yet to stand trial. His party had long taken a muted stance on the allegations — but that changed this week as 60 of the House’s 85 Republicans, including Speaker Dade Phelan, voted to impeach.

“No one person should be above the law, least not the top law officer of the state of Texas,” Rep. David Spiller, a Republican member of the committee that investigated Paxton, said in opening statements. Another Republican committee member, Rep. Charlie Geren, said without elaborating that Paxton had called some lawmakers before the vote and threatened them with political “consequences.”

Lawmakers allied with Paxton tried to discredit the investigation by noting that hired investigators, not panel members, interviewed witnesses. They also said several of the investigators had voted in Democratic primaries, tainting the impeachment, and that they had too little time to review evidence.

“I perceive it could be political weaponization,” Rep. Tony Tinderholt, one of the House’s most conservative members, said before the vote. Republican Rep. John Smithee compared the proceeding to “a Saturday mob out for an afternoon lynching.”

Paxton is automatically suspended from office pending the Senate trial. Final removal would require a two-thirds vote in the Senate, where Paxton’s wife’s, Angela, is a member.

Representatives of the governor, who lauded Paxton while swearing him in for a third term in January, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on a temporary replacement.

Before the vote Saturday, Trump and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz came to Paxton’s defense, with the senator calling the impeachment process “a travesty” and saying the attorney general’s legal troubles should be left to the courts.

“Free Ken Paxton,” Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social, warning that if House Republicans proceeded with impeachment, “I will fight you.”

In one sense, Paxton’s political peril arrived with dizzying speed: The House committee’s investigation came to light Tuesday, and by Thursday lawmakers issued 20 articles of impeachment.

But to Paxton’s detractors, the rebuke was years overdue.

In 2014, he admitted to violating Texas securities law, and a year later he was indicted on securities fraud charges in his hometown near Dallas, accused of defrauding investors in a tech startup. He pleaded not guilty to two felony counts carrying a potential sentence of five to 99 years.

He opened a legal defense fund and accepted $100,000 from an executive whose company was under investigation by Paxton’s office for Medicaid fraud. An additional $50,000 was donated by an Arizona retiree whose son Paxton later hired to a high-ranking job but was soon fired after displaying child pornography in a meeting. In 2020, Paxton intervened in a Colorado mountain community where a Texas donor and college classmate faced removal from his lakeside home under coronavirus orders.

But what ultimately unleashed the impeachment push was Paxton’s relationship with Austin real estate developer Nate Paul.

In 2020, eight top aides told the FBI they were concerned Paxton was misusing his office to help Paul over the developer’s unproven claims that an elaborate conspiracy to steal $200 million of his properties was afoot. The FBI searched Paul’s home in 2019, but he has not been charged and denies wrongdoing. Paxton also told staff members he had an affair with a woman who, it later emerged, worked for Paul.

The impeachment accuses Paxton of attempting to interfere in foreclosure lawsuits and issuing legal opinions to benefit Paul. Its bribery charges allege that Paul employed the woman with whom Paxton had an affair in exchange for legal help and that he paid for expensive renovations to the attorney general’s home.

A senior lawyer for Paxton’s office, Chris Hilton, said Friday that the attorney general paid for all repairs and renovations.

Other charges, including lying to investigators, date back to Paxton’s still-pending securities fraud indictment.

Four of the aides who reported Paxton to the FBI later sued under Texas’ whistleblower law, and in February he agreed to settle the case for $3.3 million. The House committee said it was Paxton seeking legislative approval for the payout that sparked their probe.

“But for Paxton’s own request for a taxpayer-funded settlement over his wrongful conduct, Paxton would not be facing impeachment,” the panel said.


Offline Rick Plant

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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #1454 on: May 28, 2023, 09:21:45 AM »
President Biden @POTUS

Earlier this evening, Speaker McCarthy and I reached a budget agreement in principle.
It is an important step forward that reduces spending while protecting critical programs for working people and growing the economy for everyone. And, the agreement protects my and Congressional Democrats’ key priorities and legislative accomplishments.
The agreement represents a compromise, which means not everyone gets what they want. That’s the responsibility of governing.
And, this agreement is good news for the American people, because it prevents what could have been a catastrophic default and would have led to an economic recession, retirement accounts devastated, and millions of jobs lost.
Over the next day, our negotiating teams will finalize legislative text and the agreement will go to the United States House and Senate. I strongly urge both chambers to pass the agreement right away.


President Biden @POTUS

It costs about $10 to make a vial of insulin.
But guess what? Drug companies were charging anywhere from $300 to $800 a month for it.
We capped it at $35 for folks on Medicare – and I won't stop until we can get it done for every American.


JFK Assassination Forum

Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #1454 on: May 28, 2023, 09:21:45 AM »

Online Richard Smith

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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #1455 on: May 28, 2023, 04:12:55 PM »
Another overblown, border line hoax story finally came to end with the debt ceiling agreement.   It's hilarious how the media and corrupt political establishment spread fear.  They were never going to turn off the money that flows to their donors and political supporters.   Both sides are at fault for this catastrophe.   Only an outsider with no vested interest in the crooked status quo can ever hope to correct this disaster. 


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