Author Topic: U.S. Politics  (Read 899 times)

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #50 on: November 21, 2021, 03:27:55 AM »
Why Biden's record on jobs has been 'dramatically underestimated'

As one senator put it, "I guess I'm not exactly sure why what's happening isn't being characterized as a booming recovery from a worldwide shutdown."

A couple of weeks ago, the latest monthly jobs report offered great news: The U.S. economy added more than 500,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate improved to a 19-month low. For those concerned about the strength of the economic recovery, the data created new confidence.

The Republican National Committee, however, didn't quite see it that way. Sure the job the numbers were encouraging, but, the RNC said, the news followed months of "bad jobs reports."

All of which led to an important follow-up question Republicans have been reluctant to answer: "What bad jobs reports?" The Washington Post ran an important piece on this overnight, with a headline that read, "The government dramatically underestimated job growth this summer."

The government sharply underestimated job gains for most of 2021, including four months this summer in which it missed more job growth than at any other time on record. In the most recent four months with revisions, June through September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported it underestimated job growth by a cumulative 626,000 jobs — that's the largest underestimate of any other comparable period, going back to 1979. If those revisions were themselves a jobs report, they'd be an absolute blockbuster.

For those who may be unfamiliar with monthly jobs reports, it's probably worth pausing to explain the process.

On the first Friday of the month, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a report on the previous month's job totals. When these new numbers reach the public, there's a temptation to react to them at face value, but there's a problem: The totals are preliminary, and will be revised.

Under normal economic conditions, these revisions are modest and inconsequential. For example, if an initial assessment from the BLS says there were 150,000 jobs created in a given month, and the revisions conclude that the actual tally was 160,000, no one makes much of a fuss.

But in recent months, the revisions have been dramatic — and all in the same direction.

In June, for example, the preliminary tally under-reported the jobs totals by 112,000. A month later, the initial total under-reported 148,000 jobs. The month after that, it was 248,000 jobs.

All told, we're talking about 626,000 jobs that we didn't know were created until officials retroactively updated initial tallies.

To be sure, there's no reason to suspect anything nefarious. The Labor Department relies on employer surveys, and the system was disrupted by the pandemic and the degree to which they affected businesses. It wasn't that the BLS under-reported the job totals on purpose; it just took more time for the BLS to get the full employment picture.

But there's an unmistakable political dimension to this. Over the summer, President Joe Biden and his Democratic Party received months of negative press — even as early voting was getting underway in Virginia and New Jersey — with headlines about discouraging and disappointing jobs totals.

The Post's report added, "From April to June, polls found that most Americans (51 percent) approved of Biden's handling of the economy, according to an average of polls from Fox, NBC, Quinnipiac and The Post. But as bad economic numbers came out and the national political climate turned south, those numbers fell steadily — in October, just 39 percent approved of Biden's handling of the economy, while 57 percent disapproved."

What the public didn't see was a bunch of news stories saying, "Never mind those bad headlines; we didn't realize until later that the job totals were actually great after all."

Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii added this morning, "I guess I'm not exactly sure why what's happening isn't being characterized as a booming recovery from a worldwide shutdown."

The senator's point is sound: The U.S. economy has already created 5.8 million jobs this year — far above any year in recent memory — and it's currently on pace to finish 2021 with nearly 7 million jobs created this year.

By any fair measure, that's a success story Americans can and should feel good about, headlines and RNC press releases based on incomplete preliminary job totals notwithstanding.

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #51 on: November 21, 2021, 03:48:08 AM »
Another right wing talking point and false attack against President Biden has been easily destroyed. Right wingers have been falsely attacking President Biden for 'inflation' that he had no control over. It wasn't because of anything he did wrong because it's happening to other countries as well due to the global pandemic we are facing. But right wingers lie to you trying to claim it's because of Biden. That is an absolute lie. When President Biden took over, Criminal Donald left him with a year long economic and health crisis that exacerbated the rise of inflation plus top economists were warning last December 2020 that inflation would occur and that was even before President Biden took office. We also have right wingers doing whatever they can to keep COVID surging because they want the economy to suffer to they can sabotage  President Biden. The GOP is anri American purposely trying to destroy the US economy and keep people sick and dying in America because they think it will help them sieze power. They tried it in 2020 and lost in a blowout election and they are trying a replay for 2022.

It’s not just the U.S.: Inflation alarm bells are also ringing in Japan and—most worryingly—in China

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #52 on: November 21, 2021, 03:51:42 AM »
Why the silence as per Georgia in the Mainstream Media?

This is from a press release dated Nov 4, GA Democratic Party:

In Georgia’s November 2, 2021 statewide municipal elections, Democrats gained a net total of more than 30 seats and counting, including mayorships in Cairo, Stone Mountain, Hampton, and McDonough and crucial city council seats in Lawrenceville, Peachtree Corners, Sandy Springs, Tucker, Stone Mountain, Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Kennesaw, and Powder Springs.

Throughout the municipal election season, the Democratic Party of Georgia (DPG) made nearly 91,000 calls and sent nearly 185,000 texts to voters across the state to get out the vote in dozens of targeted races.

Candidates in DPG-targeted races flipped 41 seats in 21 counties across Georgia, while Republican candidates picked up just 6. The counties that saw Democratic flips include Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Chatham, Clarke, Cobb, Cook, DeKalb, Fulton, Grady, Gwinnett, Heard, Henry, Jackson, Jefferson, Lanier, Meriwether, Mitchell, Oconee, Troup, and Walton.»

I follow politics religiously. Today is the 8th. And today was the first I’d heard of this.

I realize that nothing must ever disrupt professional punditry’s script. Last Tuesday, by their estimation, is the death throes of the Biden Administration because one state—which flipped 11 of 12 times last 12 elections to the party out of power in DC—flipped by a whopping 70,000 votes. Never mind New Jersey or all the municipal elections nationwide—why, Youngkin defeating a marginally popular retread means left wing Armageddon.

Kudos to Stacey A as always. But where o where was all this in the “wrap up” of the 2021 election?


Offline Rick Plant

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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #53 on: November 21, 2021, 11:39:44 PM »
Here's another perfect example of why there is no "Liberal Media" in the United States. Right wing Ted Cruz was allowed to come on Face The Nation and spout off bogus conspiracies and right wing propaganda. If the media was so "liberal", wouldn't the networks stack these shows with all liberals? At least the host shut down the lies this time. Normally, hosts like Chuck Todd and Dana Bash will let these right wingers lie through their teeth and will never push back against them. At least Ted "Cancun" Cruz was called out for pushing bogus 'election fraud' conspiracies.           

'You know that': CBS host shuts down Ted Cruz by reminding him 'there is no evidence of fraud' in 2020

CBS host Margaret Brennan reminded Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Sunday that there is "no evidence of fraud" that would overturn the 2020 election.

During an interview on Face the Nation, Brennan asked Cruz about reports that he had spoken to former President Donald Trump on Jan. 6.

"You knew there was no congressional authority to overturn the election," the CBS host noted. "Didn't indulging the doubters damage our democracy and our standing in the world?"

For his part, Cruz said that he was unaware of media reports claiming that he had spoken to the then-president on the same day that the U.S. Capitol was attacked.

"I didn't happen to have any conversations with President Trump on Jan. 6," Cruz insisted. "I had many conversations with him in the days, weeks and months leading up to Jan. 6. I talk to the president sometimes as often as once a week or once a day."

The senator went on to claim that he had a "responsibility" to object to the certification of electoral votes and "to review the claims of voter fraud."

"You know what you're laying out is an intellectualized argument here is not what people gathered and chanting things like Mike Pence were talking about," Brennan pointed out. "You know that."

Cruz agreed that the violence on Jan. 6 was "horrific" and should be prosecuted. But he continued to insist that Republicans could have overturned the election by appointing an electoral commission.

"Because we right now have a substantial chunk of our country that has real doubts about the integrity of the election," he opined. "And if we had had a credible electoral commission do an emergency audit, it would have enhanced faith in democracy. But instead, Democrats and a lot of the press decided to just engage in incendiary rhetoric rather than acknowledge voter fraud is real. It is a problem. And the allegations of voter fraud needed to be examined on the merits."

Brennan interrupted: "OK, Senator, there is no evidence of fraud that would really have drawn the outcome of the election into doubt. You know that."

Cruz tried to argue that voter fraud is "persistent" but Brennan ignored him and moved on to the next question.

Watch the video below:

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #54 on: November 22, 2021, 11:29:03 PM »
This right winger Sean Parnell was accused of beating his wife and children. He just lost custody of his kids. Criminal Donald and the GOP backed him anyway. MAGA voters still would have voted for him. Not one Republican said a word about his abuse towards his wife and kids or disowned him. That's how disgusting these people are, the GOP supports and condones violence and now domestic violence. So much for the GOP "family values". Parnell publicly pretends to be "Pro Life" but behind the scenes was forcing his wife to get an abortion. These right wingers are total frauds.  ​

Trump-backed Senate candidate to suspend campaign after losing custody of children

A Trump-backed United States Senate candidate is suspending his campaign after losing custody of his children after his estranged wife leveled shocking allegations of abuse against him.

Politico reports that Pennsylvania Senate hopeful Sean Parnell suspended his campaign shortly after losing the custody battle on Monday.

According to Politico's sources, Parnell even phoned Trump to personally inform him of his decision to suspend the campaign.

Laurie Parnell weeks ago testified under oath that Parnell both physically and emotionally abused her and their three children, and even told the court that he "tried to choke me out on a couch and I literally had to bite him to escape."

As the Philadelphia Inquirer reported at the time, Laurie Powell told the court that "her husband would call her a 'wh**e' and a 'piece of sh*t'" and "also testified that he once put her out of the car and left her by the road after they argued when he told her she had to get an abortion.

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #55 on: November 23, 2021, 02:13:32 PM »
Why are Republicans against capping insulin prices at $35 per month?   

Democrats reach deal on prescription-drug pricing shaped by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

Congressional Democrats have come to terms on a prescription-drug plan favored by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema that brings the party a step closer to agreeing on a bill that is the cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda.

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives accepted a deal to include rule changes expected to limit the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare recipients to $2,000 annually, including a $35 monthly cap on insulin charges.

The Sinema-backed drug plan tracks a bill from Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., that would cap out-of-pocket prices for Medicare recipients. Sinema, D-Ariz., lowered the insulin cap from $50 per month in the Peters bill to $35.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the agreement "a massive step forward" on addressing an issue that has long been among the Democrats' most important. He discussed the importance of Sinema's agreement. Among those Schumer singled out for praise was Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz.

The deal on prescription drugs could help clear the way for Democrats to pass Biden's $1.75 trillion "Build Back Better" social spending plan, as well as the $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal Sinema helped broker this summer.

Republicans have largely rejected the Democratic agenda, saying it is too costly and expansive.

The prescription-drug plan came about after lengthy negotiations, especially in the past week, that involved Sinema, Kelly, the White House and others in Congress.

The plan would limit out-of-pocket costs to Medicare patients, though it would provide only limited authority for the government to leverage its buying power to lower pharmaceutical prices. Under the deal, the government can negotiate prices on the 10 priciest drugs that are commonly prescribed, which includes some medicine for cancer patients.

House Democrats had favored a more-expansive plan that would allow the government to negotiate with drugmakers more directly. That plan was led by Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Even so, the deal announced Tuesday could represent a key policy victory that has eluded Democrats for decades.

“The Senator welcomes a new agreement on a historic, transformative Medicare drug negotiation plan that will reduce out-of-pocket costs for seniors — ensuring drug prices cannot rise faster than inflation — save taxpayer dollars, and protect innovation to ensure Arizonans and Americans continue to have access to life-saving medications, and new cures and therapeutics,” Hannah Hurley, a Sinema spokesperson, said in a written statement.   

Kelly, who made the issue of prescription-drug prices a major focus of his campaign, called the deal a "big win" for the elderly.

“Lowering the cost of prescription drugs has been one of my top priorities in the Senate, and I’ve been working on it over the past week with my colleagues in the Senate, House, and the White House," Kelly said in a written statement. "We’ve now reached an agreement that will drive down prescription drug prices, lower out-of-pocket costs for seniors, and prevent price gouging. This will be a big win for Arizona seniors and I’ll keep working to get it over the finish line.”

Others were less than effusive.

Rep. Greg Stanton, D-Ariz., implied that Sinema had held up progress on badly needed change.

"I've been pushing for Medicare to use its power to negotiate drug prices since I entered Congress — it will save Arizonans millions of dollars and it's the common-sense thing to do," Stanton said in a pair of tweets. "I'm grateful that after months of negotiations, the last Senate Democratic holdout now understands what it can mean to Arizona. It's time to put people — not Big Pharma — first."

The CEO of AARP, which bills itself as the nation's largest advocate for seniors, praised a deal to negotiate prices as a step in the right direction.

“There’s no greater issue affecting the pocketbooks of seniors on Medicare than the ever-increasing costs of prescription drugs. For decades, seniors have been at the mercy of Big Pharma. Allowing Medicare to finally negotiate drug prices is a big win for seniors," Jo Ann Jenkins said. "Preventing prices from rising faster than inflation and adding a hard out-of-pocket cap to (Medicare) Part D will provide real relief for seniors with the highest drug costs. Lawmakers must work quickly to turn today’s announcement into a legislative reality that delivers on the promises made to older Americans."

The deal would limit price increases on drug charges to Medicare recipients in line with inflation. Drugs that are not subject to exclusivity protections would also see cost rollbacks phased in over time.

It caps insulin costs at $35 monthly, with that provision to be expedited. It was not immediately clear how soon that could be implemented if the bill is passed into law.

Sinema has come under heavy criticism for months from people in her own party who have seen her as blocking the Democratic agenda. The prescription-drug issue enjoys relatively broad popularity, adding to the sense of frustration.

The pharmaceutical industry has resisted government pricing, arguing that it would inhibit its ability to develop new drugs, something that could especially apply to smaller companies that have a more-limited menu of approved medicines.

The House is hoping to vote on the social spending bill later this week, and it will now include the prescription-drug plan, something that had not been included in the White House framework announced last week.

The House is expected to vote on the Sinema-backed infrastructure bill this week. Both measures are expected to pass the Democratic-controlled chamber on party-line votes.

The social spending bill will go to the Senate, where the parliamentarian will pick through it to ensure it meets spending rules that allow the chamber to pass it on a simple majority vote. It would bypass a possible filibuster, but opens the door to an array of proposed amendments by Republicans intended to exert political pain on Democrats.

That will likely mean the Senate passes a bill that differs from the House's, requiring the House to pass the Senate-altered bill before it can go to Biden's desk.

Together, the legislation could reshape the rules and resources affecting a wide swath of policy concerns: child and elder care; construction of roads, railways and broadband connectivity; and climate-change mitigation. They are financed in part through tax hikes targeting corporations and the wealthy.

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #56 on: November 23, 2021, 02:33:01 PM »
President Biden comes through again delivering for the American people and this time he will lower gas prices. Right wingers are angry. They should be happy we will have lower gas prices.

U.S. to release oil from reserves in coordination with other countries to lower gas prices

The U.S. will release 50 million barrels of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the White House said Tuesday.

The move is a coordinated effort between energy-consuming nations including China and Japan to combat the rapid rise in energy prices.

Prior to Tuesday’s announcement the Biden Administration repeatedly said that it was looking at the tools at its disposal as prices at the pump hover around a seven-year high.

President Joe Biden said Tuesday that the administration will tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of a global effort from energy-consuming nations to calm 2021′s rapid rise in fuel prices.

The coordinated release between the U.S., India, China, Japan, Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom is the first such move of its kind.

In total, the U.S. will release 50 million barrels from the SPR. Of the total 32 million barrels will be an exchange over the next several months, while 18 million barrels will be an acceleration of a previously authorized sale.

“The President stands ready to take additional action, if needed, and is prepared to use his full authorities working in coordination with the rest of the world to maintain adequate supply as we exit the pandemic,” the White House said in a statement.

Tuesday’s announcement follows the administration saying for months that it was looking into the tools at its disposable as West Texas Intermediate crude futures surged to a seven-year high above $85.

Prices at the pump have followed the ascent, and are currently hovering around their highest level in seven years. The national average for a gallon of gas stood at $3.409 on Monday, according to AAA, up from $2.11 one year ago. Crude prices make up between 50% and 60% of what consumers pay to fill up their tanks, AAA said.

“This is a well timed move to try and lower oil prices,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital. “This added supply should help to bridge the production shortfall ahead of winter, especially if we get confirmation of meaningful supply, as well, from several of the major Asian consuming nations,” he added.

As of Nov. 19 the SPR held 604.5 million barrels spread across four sites, according to the Department of Energy. It takes 13 days after a presidential announcement for the oil to hit the market, according to DofE.

In total the SPR, which was founded in 1975 after the Arab Oil Embargo, can hold 727 million barrels.

The SPR can be tapped in three ways, according to the DofE: a full drawdown to counter a “severe energy interruption,” a limited drawdown of up to 30 million barrels, or a drawdown for an exchange or test sale.

U.S. oil dipped 1.9% to a session low of $75.30 per barrel following the announcement, before recovering some of those losses. The contract last traded 34 cents lower at $76.41. International benchmark Brent crude stood at $79.98 per barrel, for a gain of 34 cents.

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #57 on: November 24, 2021, 01:58:58 PM »
Here's the massive turkey shortage that Republicans are lying about! In fact most of these birds probably won't even be sold. 

The right wing media and right wing Republicans are lying because there's plenty of turkey to go round.

The media shamefully claims gas prices is $5 when gas is under $3.

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #58 on: November 24, 2021, 02:02:50 PM »
Our President Joe Biden and our First Lady Jill Biden were at Fort Bragg serving our troops. It's great to have a President that respects our men and women in the military again.

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: U.S. Politics
« Reply #59 on: November 25, 2021, 12:41:48 AM »
The Republicans are taking their terror campaign to the next level

Republicans in Wisconsin have upped the operational tempo in their ongoing war on free and fair elections. Trump stalwart United States Senator Ron Johnson is exhorting state GOP legislators in his home state to illegally seize control of federal election administration over the objections of the governor. Johnson's plan is contravened not only by a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling, but also by a ruling of the US Supreme Court. But who's counting?

Johnson is buoyed by a fringe constitutional theory popularized by Trump lawyer John Eastman in his notorious coup memos. Eastman asserted that state legislatures had ultimate power over election administration, including the right to cast aside the popular vote for Biden and choose Trump electors instead, provided a Republican yells "fraud" loudly enough.

A long-awaited report commissioned by the Republican state legislature found no evidence of election fraud in 2020. Instead of reflecting on the life choices that have led their state to the brink of one-party rule, the Wisconsin GOP has redirected its rage towards the non-partisan Wisconsin Elections Commission. These legislators are looking for a pretext to abolish the WEC and usurp its powers.

The report alleged a handful of picayune violations of election law by the WEC, including sending absentee ballots to nursing homes. WEC Administrator Meagan Wolfe defended her commission's work and said the report contains errors. These errors could have been resolved if the WEC had been allowed to review the report before publication, as audited agencies typically are. But the first rule of endlessly re-litigating the 2020 election is never to let the facts get in the way of a good smear.

Republican vindictiveness knows no bounds. It's not enough to slander Wolfe and her colleagues, and demand their resignations. Earlier this month, the Republican sheriff of Racine County asked the Republican district attorney to file felony charges against five of the WEC's six members. Their alleged crime? Helping little old ladies vote in nursing homes while protecting them from Covid.

If Racine County DA Patricia Hanson agrees to go along with this charade, these dedicated public servants could each be charged with two Class 1 felonies, which, in the vanishingly unlikely event they are convicted, could carry up to three and a half years in prison apiece.

Wisconsin law requires pairs of officials known as "special voting deputies" to visit every nursing home in the state twice to help residents vote. However, during that phase of the pandemic, most nursing homes banned all visitors, including the deputies. And for good reason. It didn't seem very safe to send these officials and their various hangers-on traipsing from one nursing home to the next, interacting with patients, and possibly spreading the virus.

Therefore, the WEC voted to stop trying to send deputies to nursing homes (where they were already banned) and instead to send absentee ballots to nursing homes. The sheriff alleges that illegal votes were cast because cognitively impaired residents were assisted in voting. This despite the fact that people with cognitive disabilities retain their right to vote in Wisconsin unless a judge determines that they are incompetent. A family member's gut feeling that Mom is too senile to vote is legally worthless.

Wolfe insists the decision to send absentee ballots was not only legal but required by state law: "The law says if you cannot accomplish those two visits by special voting deputies, if a voter cannot vote during those two visits, that you have to send the ballots to the voters in those care facilities," Wolfe explained. She also noted that if they hadn't sent absentee ballots, these elderly and disabled voters would have been disenfranchised.

Elections officials across the country have been subjected to death threats from voters who have been duped by the Big Lie of election fraud. The threat of felony charges is taking the terror campaign to the next level.


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