Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy Reportedly Skipping Ceremony Honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Mitch McConnell

Two of the most senior Republicans in Congress will not attend a ceremony at the Capitol today honoring the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, according to reporting from NBC.

NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Kasie Hunt reported on Friday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was listed as not attending while House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy won’t attend either. read more

Rep. Kevin McCarthy: I’ll Force Vote to Remove Pelosi If She Tries to Impeach Trump Again

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has threatened to force a vote to remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) if she has the Democrat-controlled house file articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump again. Pelosi had earlier said Democrats have “options” to delay the president from nominating someone to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last week. read more

Kevin McCarthy Wants to Withhold Money from States That Don’t Protect Statues

Kevin McCarthy wants to withhold federal funds from any state that does not protect statues from protesters. The Republican will offer a bill to give legal effect to his idea.

The House Minority Leader is reacting to recent protests following the death of George Floyd. Demonstrators have targeted several statues, particularly those depicting slaveholders and other racists.

McCarthy framed his bill as forcing states and cities to uphold the law.

“I’ll be introducing legislation to withhold funding from states and cities where leaders fail to uphold the law,” McCarthy said.

“The mobs that Democrats encourage suppress speech and punish those who speak out.”

“Democrats encourage it because they think it is a distraction, that their agenda can skate by unnoticed. They see it as a supplement to the radical movement in the streets.”

The California Republican also took aim at his Democratic colleagues in the House for their apparent failure to denounce protesters targeting statues.

“Unfortunately, though, some on the left encouraged by the silence of Democratic leaders including the Speaker of this House are trying to erase our story, they want to erase our history,” McCarthy said.

“Whether it’s a monument of Abraham Lincoln freeing the slaves or four of our greatest, Democrats no longer view the richness of our country’s history worthy.”

“Not only do they want to erase our past, they want to radically change the way we live today. The mobs the Democrats encourage destroy property, they threaten and sometimes even attack innocent citizens.”

McCarthy’s bill is unlikely to succeed in the House, where

Democrats control the majority.  read more

Republican Kevin McCarthy: “Nobody Should Be Judged Based on the Color of Their Uniform”

Republican Kevin McCarthy has compared racism to prejudice against police. The House Minority Leader contrasted skin color with the color of uniforms worn by officers.

McCarthy is the most senior Republican in the House of Representatives. On Wednesday, he became the latest conservative to compare what police officers are experiencing to racism.

He told Fox News that the protesters “have a right to be heard” on the issue of police brutality. But he also brought up “people who are looting” and unfounded claims about Antifa involvement.

Watch the video:

On Fox & Friends, GOP leader Kevin McCarthy compares racism to anti-police sentiment: "No one should be judged based upon the color of their skin. And nobody should be judged based upon the color of their uniform either." pic.twitter.com/zBCkYiPiTf read more

Pelosi Slams “Republicans’ Sad Stunt” of Opposing Proxy Voting in Congress

Nancy Pelosi has hit out at Republicans for opposing proxy voting in Congress amid the Coronavirus pandemic. The Speaker of the House branded their lawsuit a “sad stunt”.

House Democrats passed measures to allow members of Congress to vote by proxy due to the dangers of Covid-19. Republicans are now suing to prevent this rules change.

“I just filed a lawsuit in federal court to overturn Speaker Pelosi’s unconstitutional proxy voting scheme,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Tuesday.

I just filed a lawsuit in federal court to overturn Speaker Pelosi’s unconstitutional proxy voting scheme.

It could allow as few as 20 Representatives to control the votes of 220. This is NOT the representative democracy our Founders envisioned or what our Constitution allows. read more

‘The Markets Are Gonna Be Just Fine’ Trump Says On Day Of Massive Stock Market Dropoffs

The stock markets have tanked pretty hard due to concerns surrounding the spread of coronavirus across the globe.

Nevertheless, President Donald Trump is still trying to promote an optimistic view about what’s happening, economically, when it comes to the disease’s impact.

When asked on Thursday if he was planning to sign any sort of economic declaration, Trump retorted with a remark that suggested he didn’t have a true understanding of what was happening that morning.

“The markets are gonna be just fine,” Trump responded.

In fact, the markets are not doing fine as of right now, or in the past few weeks, and have officially entered what investors call “bear market” territory.

For instance, since its highest point, which was achieved on February 12 of this year, the Dow Jones has dropped by more than 7,000 points. That’s a quarter of losses from where it stood just 29 days ago.

Put another way, the Dow Jones has lost all of the gains — and then some — that have been produced since the president’s signature economic policy, his enormous corporate tax cuts, was implemented at the start of 2018.

The longest bull market in history has now ended after 11 years. We're now in a #bearmarket Which means the market's trend is now Down, not Up. pic.twitter.com/4mQUSexDMf read more

Opinion: The GOP is Silent on Russian Interference and Trump’s Dangerous Behavior Because They’re in on it

Media pundits often wonder why Republicans have turned a blind eye to and refused to call out the myriad and fairly well-documented behaviors of both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin’s Russian government, which gravely undermine the U.S.’s national security, interfere in our election processes, and generally influence the White House to pursue policy that serves interests other than those of the American people.

And when it comes to impeachment, we even often hear Democrats fantasize about getting republicans on board.

The prevailing wisdom has been that Republicans don’t stand up to Trump because (1) they are afraid of the barrage of twitter attacks he will unleash on them if they criticize him, harming their relationship with their pro-Trump base and thus their chances at re-election, and (2) Trump pushes through the policies they want in terms of tax cuts, de-regulation, and so forth; and he also helps them pack the courts with severely conservative and intensely ideological justices who will aid and abet them in assaulting women’s reproductive rights, undermining union and workers’ rights (e.g. the Janus ruling), rolling back voter protections, endorsing gerrymandering, and on and on.

The investigation into Trump’s mob-routine with Ukraine (hey, I need a favor; lemme make you an offer you can’t refuse), however, is beginning to reveal much more.

It’s not just Trump who’s consorting with Russians and accepting their money to support his campaigns, and thus tacitly agreeing to do the bidding of Russia whether it serves the interests of the American people or not.

The Republicans are in on it, too.

Former  Texas Republican Representative Pete Sessions reportedly accepted money from Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, the two Soviet-born businessman recently arrested for U.S. campaign finance violations. This same report also implicates House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and South Carolina Republican Representative Joe Wilson for having accepted donations as well. Remember when Joe Wilson called President Obama a liar in the middle of one his State of the Union addresses? Now who’s the liar, Joe!?

And the Tampa Bay Times   reports that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis accepted and has now returned a $50,000 donation from Parnas and Fruman, and that U.S. Republican Senator Rick Scott also accepted money from these Russian-rooted operatives.

And remember when Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska just happened to build an aluminum plant in Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky?

For a good while commentators and analysts have tried to separate Trump from the rest of the Republican party, seeing the party as a whole as not complicit in Trump’s questionable and corrupt self-serving deals.

It now turns out that many of them are in on it.  Now we know why they deny the many truths regarding Russian interference and, yes, even collusion the Mueller report details.

It’s not just that they’re afraid of him or that they need him to push their policies and stack the court.

They’re in on it too. Russia is backing them too.

The Republican party is, we now know, truly the party of Trump, by which we mean Putin.

So, in 2020, it won’t be enough to oust Trump to rid our politics of the Russian corruption and infection; we’ll need to remove Republicans.

 

Castro Tweet Controversy Reveals Fundamental Threat to Democracy, even from the Press

Castro Trump legal jeopardy

Back in the day, during the Reagan era, New York Democrat and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan termed the GOP the “party of ideas” because of their growing reputation for intellectual prowess.

At the 2016 Republican National Convention, despite all indications to the contrary, self-proclaimed idea-man Paul Ryan kept this illusion alive, declaring, “It still comes down to a contest of ideas, which is really good news, ladies and gentlemen, because when it’s about ideas that advantage goes to us.”

Whether or not Ryan’s assertion describes reality, it is still important to embrace the aspirational dimensions of the statement.  He articulates the ideal of democracy when he says “it still comes down to a contest of ideas.”

Democracy is supposed to come down to “a contest of ideas,” and the likes of founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and John Adams believed deeply in funding schools to create an educated citizenry to assess those ideas and how effectively they served and forwarded the public good and national interests.

For democracy to function as this war of ideas, however, politicians actually need to present their ideas, not conceal them as some secret agenda or present them untruthfully so that the burden falls upon voters not just to assess them but to sledgehammer their ways through walls of deception to even know what those ideas are.

The recent controversy over Joaquin Castro’s tweets naming donors from San Antonio who have financially supported Donald Trump and, by extension, helped fund his inhumane policies and practices toward immigrants, reveals the extent to which we as a nation are drifting further and further away from the norms and ideals of a political culture of democracy that aims for ultimate transparency and truthfulness in the operations of the political system and for facilitating the people’s access to information, to the truth.

Castro simply tweeted, while listing the donors’ names: “Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.’”

Keep in mind that this donor information is all public information. And yet, making this public information, well, public, somehow ignited a firestorm.

“Targeting and harassing Americans because of their political beliefs is shameful and dangerous,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

One might expect such a statement from a Republican House Minority Leader.

But then even respected journalists jumped on board. “I don’t want to put these people’s names in my feed because this is dangerous, by any campaign,” tweeted New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman. Journalist Yashar Ali wrote that Castro’s tweet was a “terrible and dangerous precedent to set.”

Apparently, it has now become dangerous to communicate public information to voters so they can understand which interests are funding political campaigns and supporting particular ideological positions.

This development, particularly when the free press joins the bandwagon, does not bode well for democracy.

Remember last June when the White House censored the written testimony from a State Department intelligence agency warning that human-caused climate change is “possibly catastrophic,” barring it from submission to the House Intelligence Committee?

Should news sources such as The Washington Post or Talking Points Memo have not reported this fact for fear of harassing White House officials?

The Castro controversy leads us into dangerous territory because revealing important information of dire public interest, once a bedrock of democracy,  is even a controversy and because even institutions, such as a free press, are explicitly taking part in even entertaining a position suggesting that public information should not be shared.

This position implicitly endorses Trump’s refusal to make his tax filings public and to deny the jurisdictional rights and oversight obligations of Congress. Does the public not have a right to know if any business interests are entangling or supporting the President of the United States?

Would it be dangerous for the press to report on Jared Kushner’s financial relationships or on Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russians to discuss business deals?

The controversy of Castro’s tweets is that it is even a controversy.

The basic pillars of democracy, apparently, are now up for discussion.

This is what the Castro controversy reveals, reminding us once again how far the White House, how far Trump, has taken us off the course of democracy, drifting steadily toward an authoritarian political culture.

We have tended to discuss Trump’s persistent lying in terms of government corruption.

We need to remind ourselves that the lying is more than the run-of-the-mill corruption to which we have become accustomed at all levels of government.

Because access to the truth, to reliable information, to faithful representations of ideas is so vital to the functioning of democracy, the scope, intensity, and prevalence of the lying we are encountering these days from Trump and his administration constitute an existential threat to democracy.

Remember back in the day when Tea Party protesters routinely carried signs warning the U.S. government to get out of their lives and, particularly, to “Get Your Hands Off My Medicare”? Few, if any, Republicans bothered to correct these people to let them know that the government provided them with Medicare. No strenuous effort was made to help these protesters see the truth and assess their real interests, even from mainstream media. The “truth” was just one position among many.

These days, the truth is becoming a position that doesn’t even necessarily merit representation or outing.  The prominent position now, ratified by increasing numbers, even former defenders of freedom and truth, is that truth should be repressed, even public information.

When the truth is frowned upon, when public information is not to be communicated to the public, then we must be aware that democracy is on the verge of collapse.

It seems hard, if not impossible, to sustain a democracy characterized by a war of ideas, if people do not want to own their ideas and what they support, much less articulate and disseminate them, preferring instead to conceal them.

Unfortunately, we are moving towards a political culture in which concealment rather than transparency is increasingly the acceptable norm.

MSNBC’s Mika Warns Republicans About Serving as Trump’s ‘Fixer’

Mika and Joe on CPAC speech

Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski told Donald Trump’s GOP enablers this morning that they should heed Michael Cohen’s warning about serving as “fixers” for the leader of their party.

In his congressional testimony on Wednesday, the former Trump Organization attorney warned Trump’s supporters they would end up in the same position as he was in if they continue to blindly follow the president. And Brzezinski said Republicans should believe what Cohen had to say. Otherwise, she emphasized, “this ends badly:”

“If there’s one part of Michael Cohen’s testimony that you might want to consider believing from last week, it would be if you follow Donald Trump blindly as he has, you’ll end end up where he’s going and he meant that from the bottom of his heart. There’s a long list of people already are in this situation, including him. This ends badly.”

Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele was also on the show and he pointed to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who said Cohen’s evidence that Trump and his son had violated campaign finance laws with a hush money payment to a porn actress was not a big deal.

“Kevin McCarthy knows and everybody else knows that these campaign violations are serious,” Steele said. “Even the ones that are accidental are serious.”

“When you have a deliberate effort to undermine the integrity of the electoral system by skirting the law, deliberately, the consequences are huge,” he added.

Steele also said that last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) heralded a new political party based on the idolatry of President Donald Trump:

“What’s happened, manifested at CPAC, is a new form of idolatry. Donald Trump is the Golden Calf, he is the thing that they come and bow before.”

“Conservatives offer up their future political support when they stand there for two hours and applaud the nastiness by Trump towards a hero like John McCain.”

Steele also said that while Republicans were currently riding high, they would eventually come to regret their support for Trump. For now, however, Steele appeared very dejected over the current state of his party.

“So this is the new space, this is the new party,” he said glumly, before adding:

“In terms of where we go from here, we have to look at each other, look at our neighbor, look at ourselves in the mirror and go ‘is this us?’ Are we now this America where these things are less important to us and are less regarded because we love that guy in the White House so much?”

Mika Is Right: This Ends Badly for Republican Enablers of Donald Trump

When Mika Brzezinski compared Republicans in Congress to former Trump “fixer” Michael Cohen she was absolutely right. Never in history have we seen a party so blindly follow a president that has told so many lies, undermined the constitution, filled an administration with crooks, and committed his own crimes before and during his tenure in the White House.

Not only is there the Bob

Mueller investigation read more

Crazy Right-Wingers Have Taken Over the House GOP

The crazies in the Freedom Caucus in the House appear to have taken over the insane asylum known as the House Republican Conference.

Although moderates such as Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) have always been at odds with the Freedom Caucus, he is now working with them to defeat the Democratic agenda. McCarthy gave his blessing last week to members of the Freedom Caucus when they stopped floor action for hours in protest of a Democratic measure against government shutdowns.

The House Freedom Caucus was created to make life hell for the majority. Now, it’s the Democrats’ turn to suffer

For now the hardcore right-wing conservatives in the House have agreed to stop antagonizing Republican leaders such as McCarthy. Which means the factions within the GOP House Caucus have temporarily united as they try to make life miserable for the Democratic majority.

It was just two months ago that members of the Freedom Caucus tried to defeat McCarthy as GOP leader. And now he’s plotting with Freedom Caucus leader Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) to disrupt the House so Democrats can’t get anything done.

“I can come up with all kinds of creative ways to slow down the floor progress,” Meadows said. “Those creative ways are being used in a unified way in the minority.”

Liz Cheney (R-WY) the chairman of the Republican Conference, has been working with McCarthy to coordinate GOP attacks against Democratic investigations of Trump. And the tactics they are using were taken directly from Freedom Caucus bag of tricks, especially those of chief disruptor Rep.

Jim Jordan of Ohio. read more

After Controversial Comments, King Kicked Off Committees By McCarthy

Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday took steps to kick racist Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King off of all House committees on which he has been serving. King will lose his committee assignments following a media firestorm caused by his most recent outlandish racist remarks.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters after a meeting of the Republican Steering Committee that King would not receive any committee assignments for the new Congress.

“That is not the party of Lincoln,” McCarthy said of King’s comments. “It is definitely not American. All people are created equal in America, and we want to take a very strong stance about that.”

“We will not be seating Steve King on any committees in the 116th Congress,” McCarthy told reporters.

King immediately fought back, denouncing the GOP leaders’ move to remove him from committee assignments, calling it a “political decision that ignores the truth.”

“Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) decision to remove me from committees is a political decision that ignores the truth,” King said in a statement after the California congressman made the announcement to reporters that the controversial House member from Iowa would be removed from all of his previous committee assignments.

King faced public outrage and bipartisan congressional criticism after telling The New York Times in an interview published last week, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”

King has been a member of the House Judiciary, Agriculture and Small Business committees for many years. He had also previously served as chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice during the last Congress. He would have been its ranking member under the new Democratic majority.

The move by GOP leaders severely hinders King’s influence as a member of Congress. For an Iowa congressman the Agriculture Committee is considered an especially important assignment, and losing this will hurt King’s ability to serve his constituents in the heavily rural Iowa congressional district he represents.

King insisted that his remarks were taken out of context and criticized McCarthy’s decision. But King made no indication that he plans to resign, even though many people, including new Utah senator Mitt Romney, have demanded that he do so. 

Referencing his conversation yesterday with McCarthy, King said:

“Ultimately, I told him ‘You have to do what you have to do and I will do what I have to do.’ I will continue to point out the truth and work with all the vigor that I have to represent 4th District Iowans for at least the next two years.” read more

Desperate McCarthy Tells House GOP That “Nobody is Safe”

A desperate House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has told Republicans in Congress that nobody is safe in this year’s midterm elections, and nobody can take their seats for granted. McCarthy has confirmed that GOP leaders are extremely worried about a Blue Wave this year that will take away their congressional majorities.

Reports are that McCarthy “cracked the whip” with his GOP colleagues on the topics of fundraising and campaigning in a sit down meeting with them yesterday. As a leader of the Republican House caucus he apparently decided it was up to him to give what was called “a combination pep talk and wake-up call.” His goal was to have an impact before members of Congress left Washington for their five-week summer recess.

People close to the Majority Leader have summarized his message as follows:

  • Republicans are facing a surge in Democratic fundraising and voter enthusiasm,
  • The GOP needs to make up ground if they are going to buck historical trends and keep control of the House in the first midterm election of Donald Trump’s presidency,
  • They have to target women and independent voters, and,
  • They have to highlight not just a booming U.S. economy, but also the bipartisan House bills to combat human trafficking and the opioid crisis.

If McCarthy is successful it will help him in his quest to ascend in the party’s House leadership. If the GOP retains control, and there is a vote next year on a successor to House Speaker Paul Ryan his efforts will determine whether he ascends to the top job.

“Kevin McCarthy Makes It Official: He’s Running for Speaker House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made it clear . . . that he wants to be the next Speaker of the House if Republicans retain control after the November midterm elections.”

Kevin McCarthy Makes It Official: He's Running for Speaker House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made it clear on Wednesday that he wants to be the next Speaker of the House if Republicans retain control after the November midterm elections. https://t.co/VejoiElJP5 bitly.… read more