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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 167,246

Journal Archives

Eric Boehlert: What a mess -- the media's dopey Biden gotcha stories


What a mess — the media's dopey Biden gotcha stories
Return of the Optics Police
Eric Boehlert
33 min ago

Leaning hard into the task of creating conflict and controversy where none exists, the Beltway press is trying its best to rustle up gotcha stories that ding President Joe Biden. Struggling to adjust to the new media landscape that does not feature a narcissistic, pathological liar president, and one who does not purposely create outrage, journalists are swinging and missing as they work too hard to manufacture news.

Biden travels during the pandemic! Biden wears a Rolex! Biden hasn't given a press conference! Biden hasn't credited Trump for the vaccine! Biden hasn't "united" the nation! The breathless exercise is already tedious. And it's only March.

In a way this is the Beltway press returning to "normalcy" after Trump's four years of deliberate chaos. And normalcy for the D.C. media is pelting Democrats with gotcha stories about optics and how something the president has done doesn't look right, as determined by journalists. Not that the president has done anything wrong. Just that it doesn't feel right, and that now that gets treated as Important News, just months after a president who ran the White House as a criminal enterprise and tried to demolish free and fair elections in America left office.


Over this weekend, the Associated Press returned to a weird Biden gotcha storyline: He should avoid air travel during the pandemic. "The White House defends those [Delaware] visits at a time when the administration is urging the public to avoid unnecessary travel," the AP tweeted.

The wire service first pushed the Fox News-sponsored narrative last month, stressing that Biden's decision to fly on the weekend to his home in Delaware ran counter to CDC pandemic guidelines. The obvious hole in the gotcha story is that the CDC urges Americans not to travel because it wants people to avoid crowded airports and crowded planes, which is not something Biden has to encounter as the President of the United States. The idea that the Oval Office occupant cannot safely travel one year into a pandemic makes no sense.

Fact: Biden has deliberately unplugged Trump's outrage treadmill. The press needs to adjust and stop trying to concoct gotcha news.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Mar 15, 2021, 08:53 AM (25 replies)

Texas lawmaker: Biden administration didn't cause influx of migrants at border

Texas lawmaker: Biden administration didn't cause influx of migrants at border
"This is a challenge that we've been seeing for several years. It's not going away — until we fix it," Rep. Veronica Escobar said.
03/14/2021 11:53 AM EDT

Rep. Veronica Escobar on Sunday pushed back on claims that the Biden administration's rollbacks of Trump-era immigration policies have caused a surge in undocumented migrants at the Southern border, saying such an argument "obscures the bigger picture."

"This is not something that happened as a result of Joe Biden becoming president," the Texas Democrat said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday. "We saw the increases dating back almost a year, and this was during the Trump administration."

The number of migrant children detained at the border has tripled in recent weeks; host Jake Tapper pointed out that more than 4,000 children are currently in Border Patrol custody.

“What we are seeing today is the consequence of four years of dismantling every system in place to address this with humanity and compassion," Escobar said. She cited administration officials at Health and Human Services and other departments working to reduce the number of days children are detained before being moved to licensed facilities reunited with their families.


Posted by babylonsister | Sun Mar 14, 2021, 02:54 PM (0 replies)

Majority of Iowans Don't Want Grassley to Run Again

omg, what took them so long?


Majority of Iowans Don’t Want Grassley to Run Again
March 13, 2021 at 7:52 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 55 Comments

A new Des Moines Register poll finds 55% hope Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) does not run for U.S. Senate again in 2022, while 28% think he should and another 17% are not sure.
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Mar 14, 2021, 09:11 AM (10 replies)

"If you legalize marijuana, you're gonna kill your kids."


In response to efforts to legalize medical cannabis in Nebraska, the state’s Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts trotted out the oldest anti-weed trope in the book: “If you legalize marijuana, you’re gonna kill your kids.”

Posted by babylonsister | Sat Mar 13, 2021, 12:11 AM (16 replies)

Trump Properties Placed on Debt 'Watch Lists'

womp womp


Trump Properties Placed on Debt ‘Watch Lists’
March 12, 2021 at 4:35 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 67 Comments

Four of former President Donald Trump’s New York properties, which have come under scrutiny in a Manhattan criminal investigation, have been placed on debt “watch lists” by banks over their struggling finances, CBS News reports.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 12, 2021, 09:36 PM (4 replies)

Eric Boehlert: Good grief -- New York Times credits Trump for Biden's vaccine victory

Good grief — New York Times credits Trump for Biden's vaccine victory
Both Sides madness
Eric Boehlert
2 hr ago

In a wildly misguided attempt at Trump rehabilitation, the New York Times this week suggested Trump deserves credit for the extraordinary success the new Biden administration is having getting Americans vaccinated. Leaning hard into the Both Sides narrative, the Times generously headlined its piece, "Biden Got the Vaccine Rollout Humming, With Trump’s Help."

What the article lacked however, was any compelling evidence that Trump deserves vaccine credit, after having spent all of 2020 completely indifferent to the deadly pandemic, and spreading nonstop public health lies. Fully 60 percent of Americans over the age of 60 have received their first Covid vaccine today, compared to just eight percent under Trump. Biden should rightly take bows for that remarkable trend, after the previous administration showcased its vaccine incompetence.

Under Trump, the U.S. vaccine rollout was seen as a national embarrassment. Under Biden, it’s become a model for the world, administering nearly 100 million shots. And now the Covid relief bill, which Trump and Republicans failed to pass for ten months, will pump billions into helping communities nationwide vaccinate.

The Times article represents some truly egregious revisionist history, politely positioning today's Mar-a-lago resident as a president who simply ran out of time and wasn’t able to get the pandemic job done — who worked hard to create an infrastructure for his Democratic successor. That's a wildly inaccurate retelling of what happened and the almost criminal neglect Trump showed through all of last year in terms of fighting the pandemic and getting Americans vaccinated. Instead, more than half a million died.

Trump wasn't some kind of passive, disinterested bystander during the Covid crisis. He actively made it worse at every possible turn
, from the moment he gave the stand down order for the virus invasion last winter ("We have it totally under control" ), to lying about testing , telling Americans to ingest cleaning fluids in order to cleanse themselves of the virus, and the complete disregard he showed for mask-wearing right up until his final days in office. In truth, Trump spread more deliberate lies about Covid to a larger audience than anyone else on the planet, according to a study from Cornell University.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 12, 2021, 10:27 AM (34 replies)

Progressives, Meet Your New Hero: Joe Biden

Progressives, Meet Your New Hero: Joe Biden
If the mittens fit, you must admit—with the passage of this relief bill, the president is arguably in FDR and LBJ’s league already.
David Rothkopf
Published Mar. 12, 2021 4:53AM ET


It is telling that with the passage of the $1.9 trillion relief package, Biden’s White House spokesperson Jen Psaki described the measure as “the most progressive bill in American history.” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called it “the most consequential legislation many of us will ever be party to.” But this was not just a case of establishment leaders congratulating themselves.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus, the 93-member voice of the left on the Hill, said: “The American Rescue Plan is a truly progressive and bold package that delivers on its promise to put money directly in people’s pockets and decisively crush the coronavirus’s spread, which is responsible for our economic crisis. Compared to the response to the Great Recession, this package meets the scale of this unprecedented crisis, delivering the equivalent of 7 percent of GDP for the coming year – exactly what economists say is needed to jumpstart our economy and the labor market.

But the bill is more than just a sweeping and urgently needed piece of legislation. It is a watershed in recent American politics. As Chris Hayes said on The Rachel Maddow Show, “(I)t feels like we drove a stake through a certain kind of anti-welfare austerity politics that was incredibly powerful for four to five decades.” The Center for American Progress (CAP) issued a statement saying, “The American Rescue Plan is transformative because it rejects the long-discredited doctrine of trickle-down economics by directing aid to the working and middle-class Americans who not only need it the most, but whose spending will boost the broader economy.”

The CAP statement cited the fact that the plan will reduce overall poverty by nearly a third and cut child poverty in half. Vox’s story on the bill and where it could lead carried the headline “Joe Biden just launched the second war on poverty.”

The comparison with Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty is apt. It also echoes the perception that existed of perhaps the greatest American progressive icon of the past 100 years, Franklin Roosevelt, of whom few expected revolutionary greatness when he entered office. The point in both cases is that while the progressive movement depends on the vision, boldness, and creativity of the likes of Sanders or Elizabeth Warren or in the past of firebrands like Eugene V. Debs or Robert La Follette, the most consequential progressives are often those who find a way to actually get things done.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 12, 2021, 08:40 AM (26 replies)

David E. Sanger: The Lessons of One of the Worst Years in American Life

The Lessons of One of the Worst Years in American Life
President Donald J. Trump lost his job in large part for mishandling a crisis he at first denied. President Biden knows his legacy depends on bringing the catastrophe to a swift conclusion.
By David E. Sanger
March 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — The 365 days between the United States’ panicked retreat from offices and schools and President Biden’s speech on Thursday night, celebrating the prospect of a pandemic’s end, may prove to be one of the most consequential years in American history.

People learned about national vulnerabilities most had never considered, and about depths of resilience they never imagined needing except in wartime. Even the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, for all their horror and the two decades of war they ushered in, did not change day-to-day life in every city and town in the United States quite the way the coronavirus did.


No country can go through this kind of trauma without being forever changed. There were indelible moments. In the spring came the racial reckoning brought on by the death of George Floyd after a police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. On Jan. 6 came the mob attack on the Capitol that led many to wonder whether American democracy was still capable of self-correction.

But Mr. Biden’s message on Thursday centered on the theme that the country did finally come together in a common cause — vaccines as the road to normalcy — and from that could spring a glimmer of unity, as a still-divided nation seeks solace in millions of tiny jabs in the arm. In his speech, Mr. Biden held out two distinct dates of hope: May 1, when all adults in the United States will be eligible to receive a vaccine, and July 4, when modest Independence Day celebrations might resemble life a little like it once was.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 12, 2021, 08:15 AM (0 replies)

The Politics of Biden's Rescue Plan


The Politics of Biden’s Rescue Plan
March 11, 2021 at 10:59 pm EST By Taegan Goddard

Jeff Greenfield: “The political potential here is impressive. Consider a 2022 midterm where the future of the now-temporary child tax credits is on the line, and where every Republican House and Senate incumbent will have to explain to the electorate why they voted against them. Consider the votes of tens of thousands of small-business owners—the entrepreneurial heart of what Republicans rhetorically celebrate—whose enterprises survived because of the law enacted with a clear partisan split. Imagine a Republican arguing that only a small fraction of the law addressed the costs of the pandemic, when there are countless parents of school-age children, restaurant workers, retail shop owners, hotel clerks, freelance consultants, who know exactly what happened to their lives when Covid struck.”

“This is a possibility that Republicans simply may not have imagined
, given their midterm successes in running against the initiatives of the past two Democratic presidents, and inflicting on Clinton and Obama successive political catastrophes.”

“This time, the
benefits of the new law are easy to grasp, and will be—literally—in the hands of Americans within weeks.”
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 12, 2021, 08:09 AM (1 replies)

Stimulus Checks Are on the Way. Debt Collectors Could Seize Them.

18 hours ago
Stimulus Checks Are on the Way. Debt Collectors Could Seize Them.
There’s nothing in the new legislation to prevent stimulus funds from being garnished.
Hannah Levintova

The House passed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on Wednesday, and President Joe Biden is expected to sign it this week, ushering in a sweeping set of programs to aid Americans battered by the pandemic. The package includes expanded unemployment benefits, rent relief, a temporary allowance for families with children, and $1,400 stimulus checks.

But thanks to a quirk of the legislative rule-making process, those $1,400 checks could disappear from millions of Americans’ bank accounts. That’s because there is nothing in the bill to stop debt collectors from seizing stimulus checks to pay off private debts.

The last COVID relief package, passed in December, included protections to stop debt collectors from garnishing stimulus checks. But the first relief bill, enacted last spring, did not, and some collectors seized stimulus payments from people with debts—a worrisome sign for this next round, which is even more targeted to low- and middle-income households.

“Last year, some of the major debt collection organizations said that they would not try to garnish stimulus payments,” says Lauren Saunders, associate director at the National Consumer Law Center. “But we know that it happened. We saw a number of headlines, and we heard from a number of consumers who had their payments garnished.”

Those most at risk are people who have a debt collection judgment against them, explains Saunders. These types of judgments are particularly byzantine: The majority are issued without the borrowers present, either because they weren’t notified of the case or because they didn’t have the funds to fight it. Tens of millions of American households—disproportionately people of color—have debts in collection.


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 11, 2021, 10:47 AM (4 replies)
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