37 thoughts on “Meh-day! Meh-day!”

  1. “The key aspect of this again is, are we as Republicans going to have press conferences and complain the border’s bad and then intentionally leave it open after the worst month in American history in December? Now we’ve got to actually determine: Are we going to just complain about things, or we’re going to actually address in a change as many things as we can?”

    – GOPer senator from OK james lankford to fox & friends yesterday –

  2. warren on GOPers and the border bill

    Senator Elizabeth Warren tells Stephen that Donald Trump is using the Speaker of the House to prevent Congress from passing a bipartisan bill on border controls and foreign aid.

    stephen on other news

    An atmospheric river is responsible for wild weather out West, Taylor Swift shocked fans by announcing a new album is on the way, and we finally know what President Biden says about Donald Trump behind closed doors.

  3. wall st journal on it

    Border Bill in Trouble as GOP Senators Balk (msn.com)

    A collapse of the deal wouldn’t only set back efforts to secure the border but would also put at risk aid for Ukraine and Israel included in the package.
    The bill was released Sunday evening, and by late Monday, some 22 Republicans had publicly said that they would vote against taking up the legislation, according to a Wall Street Journal tally. At least one other Republican, Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas), was leaning against, while others were undecided.
    That left Republican leaders perilously close to missing their stated target of picking up the support of a majority of the Senate Republican conference or walking away, leaving the next steps in doubt.
    “I think the proposal is dead,” said Sen. Roger Wicker (R., Miss.), expressing hope that the Senate would drop the border deal and pass the rest of the bill without it. Sen. Joni Ernst (R., Iowa), a top ally of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), said that “the members that have come out and said no—I think it’s hard to overcome that,” after leaving a meeting in his office.
    McConnell, a fierce advocate of more funding for Ukraine, had blessed the bipartisan talks and gave a speech Monday defending the importance of the deal on the Senate floor. If the legislation stalls, he and other congressional leaders could be forced to find a backup plan for funding Kyiv, which is desperately in need of money and weapons in its war with Russia.
    Democrats have a 51-49 majority in the Senate and the bill will need 60 votes to advance.
    Any deal was always going to be a tough sell, after decades of no progress on immigration law. This round was made more difficult by election-year posturing and former President Donald Trump’s stiff opposition. Even if the measure managed to pass the Democratic-led Senate—no sure thing—it would face outright hostility in the GOP-led House.
    Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah) blamed Senate Republican leadership for bungling the negotiations. “This is a disqualifying betrayal,” he wrote on social media. Sen. Steve Daines (R., Mont.), chair of the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, said he is a no, complaining that the deal doesn’t secure the border.
    Others were still on the fence. “I have questions and serious concerns,” said Cornyn. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said that Democrats should allow an open amendment process or else “the bill will die.”
    Perhaps most problematic for the bill’s prospects was a scathing statement from House Speaker Mike Johnson (R., La.) and other party leaders. They called the Senate bill “riddled with loopholes” and said “any consideration of this Senate bill in its current form is a waste of time. It is DEAD on arrival in the House.”
    Johnson has aligned himself with Trump, who began campaigning against the border deal long before most of the details were released, which helped fuel skepticism among conservatives. “This bill is a great gift to the Democrats, and a Death Wish for the The Republican Party,” Trump said on social media Monday.
    Democrats say Trump and allied Republicans, who last year insisted on border talks as a condition for backing separate provisions providing funding for Ukraine and Israel, are cynically blocking the bill to deny a political win for President Biden headed into the election. The border is one of Biden’s biggest vulnerabilities, polls show, while tightening U.S. immigration rules is one of Trump’s key campaign promises.
    The bill’s authors had no illusions about the uphill climb facing any deal.
    “You have to be prepared for backlash from both sides of the political spectrum if you’re going to find a meeting ground in the middle,” Murphy said.
    Lankford said some Republicans have rejected the bill on partial or misleading information. He took to cable television Monday morning to sell the details, emphasizing the mechanisms that shut down asylum claims for weeks at a time once they hit 5,000 a day. Critics had painted the figure as an unchanging daily quota.
    He said he thought fellow Republicans will soon come to regret it if they don’t pass the bill.
    “Republicans have been pounding away to be able to say we need to secure the border for years,” he said in an interview. “And then to suddenly run away from it when we have the opportunity to do something? It is not a great look for us.”
    By Monday evening, Lankford was resorting to gallows humor. Border talks only occur every decade or so because “it takes a decade to forget what happened to the last person” involved in talks.
    Murphy said he and Lankford in particular have very different views, but he hoped that the story of their cooperation on immigration policy will end with success. “I hope that it all doesn’t go down in flames, because I’ve respected the effort that he’s brought to the table,” he said.
    Lankford noted that Trump called for stronger border laws when he was in office, in 2018, but complained that he couldn’t get any Democratic votes. Lankford said Republicans shouldn’t be shortsighted. “If we miss this moment, it will be a decade or more before we can come back and address these things,” Lankford said.

  4. The do harm Congress. (Thank you Ed Luce) I like the sound of that. Start putting Joe and Kamala out there beating that drum loudly and often. 

  5. “… beating that drum loudly and often”

    pogo, mojo making sure no one forgets luce’s do-harm congress:

    MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough condemned the U.S. Congress as worse than “do nothing,” and said the current crop of lawmakers were actively doing harm to the country.
    “This is not a do-nothing Congress, this is a do-harm Congress,” Scarborough said. “Donald Trump is not a do-nothing president, he is not talking about doing nothing. He is talking about doing harm when he talks about wanting the border to stay open for another year, when he talks about wanting the economy to crash, when he talks about wanting to take Americans’ health care away from them. He says this. When he talks about how he’s proud that he terminated a woman’s right to choose, a 50-year right to choose that 70 percent of Americans did not want overturned, when he talks about assassinations and wanting to assassinate generals who are disloyal, talks about wanting to jail people that run media companies.”
    “This is not a do-nothing Congress, this is a do-harm Congress,” Scarborough said. “Donald Trump is not a do-nothing president, he is not talking about doing nothing. He is talking about doing harm when he talks about wanting the border to stay open for another year, when he talks about wanting the economy to crash, when he talks about wanting to take Americans’ health care away from them. He says this. When he talks about how he’s proud that he terminated a woman’s right to choose, a 50-year right to choose that 70 percent of Americans did not want overturned, when he talks about assassinations and wanting to assassinate generals who are disloyal, talks about wanting to jail people that run media companies.”
    “When he talks about how he can order SEAL Team 6 to execute political opponents and nothing should happen to him, and Donald Trump talks about rapists coming across the border,” Scarborough added. “Bad news for Donald Trump – a judge in New York State said that what you did to E. Jean Carroll, defined in just about every way, was rape. What Donald Trump says is either confession or projection,” Scarborough added. “Here, it’s projection. But this do-harm Congress.”

  6. Once more, with feeling: Can POTUS Joe EO any of the things that a bi-partisan group of Senators wanted to do with regard to the border?  

    That way, he’s done everything he can do, and it forces the hand of Republican critters to come to the table with funding or to continue to display their shameful fealty to Orange Adolf for the world to see.

  7. DC Appeals court firmly rejects Trump’s immunity claim: “For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant.”

  8. “At bottom, former President Trump’s stance would collapse our system of separated powers by placing the President beyond the reach of all three Branches.” — DC Appeals court

  9. republicans don’t care about the border except for the opportunities it affords them to display their cruelty and blood-lust. Sadly, their people vote for that. 

  10. I got no use for republicans who want to make suggestions about what democrats ought to do.  
    Eff them.  

  11. So Dumbass has another issue to try and take to SCOTUS through the DC Circuit en banc, delay being the name of the game.

  12. https://apnews.com/article/prison-to-plate-inmate-labor-investigation-c6f0eb4747963283316e494eadf08c4e

    “Prisoners in the US are part of a hidden workforce linked to hundreds of popular food brands”

    “A hidden path to America’s dinner tables begins here, at an unlikely source – a former Southern slave plantation that is now the country’s largest maximum-security prison.”

    “The former 19th-century antebellum plantation once was owned by one of the largest slave traders in the U.S. Today, it houses some 3,800 men behind its razor-wire walls, about 65 percent of them Black. Within days of arrival, they typically head to the fields, sometimes using hoes and shovels or picking crops by hand. They initially work for free, but then can earn between 2 cents and 40 cents an hour.”

    “I was in a field with a hoe in my hand with maybe like a hundred other women. We were standing in a line very closely together, and we had to raise our hoes up at the exact same time and count ‘One, two, three, chop!’” said Faye Jacobs, who worked on prison farms in Arkansas. Jacobs, who was released in 2018 after more than 26 years, said the only pay she received was two rolls of toilet paper a week, toothpaste and a few menstrual pads each month.”

    “The AP met women in Mississippi locked up at restitution centers, the equivalent of debtors’ prisons, to pay off court-mandated expenses. They worked at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and other fast-food chains and also have been hired out to individuals for work like lawn mowing or home repairs.”

    “Some people arrested in Alabama are put to work even before they’ve been convicted. An unusual work-release program accepts pre-trial defendants, allowing them to avoid jail while earning bond money. But with multiple fees deducted from their salaries, that can take time.”

    Guys, I think we may live in one of those “sh/thole” countries.

    “If they refuse to work, some can jeopardize their chances of parole or face punishment like being sent to solitary confinement. They also are often excluded from protections guaranteed to almost all other full-time workers, even when they are seriously injured or killed on the job.”

    “The goods these prisoners produce wind up in the supply chains of a dizzying array of products found in most American kitchens, from Frosted Flakes cereal and Ball Park hot dogs to Gold Medal flour, Coca-Cola and Riceland rice. They are on the shelves of virtually every supermarket in the country, including Kroger, Target, Aldi and Whole Foods. And some goods are exported, including to countries that have had products blocked from entering the U.S. for using forced or prison labor.”
    “Enshrined in the Constitution by the 13th Amendment, slavery and involuntary servitude are banned – except as punishment for a crime.”

    “The convict-leasing period, which officially ended in 1928, helped chart the path to America’s modern-day prison-industrial complex.”

    “Now, with about 2 million people locked up, U.S. prison labor from all sectors has morphed into a multibillion-dollar empire, extending far beyond the classic images of prisoners stamping license plates, working on road crews or battling wildfires.”

    “In addition to tapping a cheap, reliable workforce, companies sometimes get tax credits and other financial incentives. Incarcerated workers also typically aren’t covered by the most basic protections, including workers’ compensation and federal safety standards.”

    “Mammoth commodity traders that are essential to feeding the globe like Cargill, Bunge, Louis Dreyfus, Archer Daniels Midland and Consolidated Grain and Barge – which together post annual revenues of more than $400 billion – have in recent years scooped up millions of dollars’ worth of soy, corn and wheat straight from prisons, which compete with local farmers.”

    “Altogether, labor tied specifically to goods and services produced through state prison industries brought in more than $2 billion in 2021, the ACLU report said. That includes everything from making mattresses to solar panels, but does not account for work-release and other programs run through local jails, detention and immigration centers and even drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities.”

  13. The article is massive.  Did you know we still have debtor’s prisons?  They are called restitution centers.  

    Guys, I think we might live in one of those “sh/thole” countries.

  14. Orange Adolf doesn’t have presidential immunity?  Maybe RFK, Jr. should run as his VP. The no immunity ticket.   

  15. Ivy – There was a graphic of the US in that article with regard to revenue from prison labor.  It was surprising that even liberal California is heavily in the mix.

  16. https://www.texastribune.org/2024/01/26/texas-abortion-fertility-rate-increase/
    “More Texas women had babies after the state banned nearly all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, leading the state’s fertility rate to increase for the first time since 2014.”
    “Nationally, fertility rates declined slightly last year, in line with a yearslong trend. A big driver of that national decline is a 67% drop in teen birth rates over the last 15 years.  But now, Texas reversed that trend, documenting a 0.4% increase in its teen birth rates.”

    “…the number of abortions plummeted — from 50,000 in 2021, to 17,000 in 2022 to just 40 in 2023…”

    “Hispanic women saw the greatest increases, while fertility rates among Asian women increased just slightly and Black and white women saw small declines. Gregory noted that the declines might have been larger for those groups if it wasn’t for the abortion bans.”

    “A second study released this week on the impact of new abortion restrictions has caught widespread attention, including from Vice President Kamala Harris.”

    “Texas, which does not allow abortions in cases of rape or incest, had the largest estimate of rape-related pregnancies of the 14 states included in the analysis.”

    “Based on this analysis, researchers estimated 519,981 rapes resulted in 64,565 pregnancies in 14 states that have banned abortion.”

    “We hope it’s going to draw attention to the fact that people’s lives are being impacted by sexual violence,” she said. “Survivors need our support, regardless of the personal decision that they decide to make about their pregnancy. But for those folks who do make a decision to have an abortion, they need access to safe and legal abortion care.”

    “When the ban on nearly all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy went into effect in 2021, Gov. Greg Abbott said there was no need for a rape exception, because Texas was going to focus on making sure “we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas.”

  17. Well, apparently the abortion ban was more effective than Governor Abbott’s rapist elimination project. I;m guessing that an increase in Texas’ Hispanic population wasn’t ol’ Greg’s goal.

  18. “There was a graphic of the US in that article with regard to revenue from prison labor.  It was surprising that even liberal California is heavily in the mix.”

    BID, not inherently bad for them to have jobs to do as part of rehabilitaion, as opposed to them laying around banging on the bars. The problem lies in the deliberate exploitation of their labor to enrich the jailors. 

  19. https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/border-bill-mayorkas-impeachment-vote/index.html

    “House GOP fails to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas”

    “…a stunning defeat and embarrassment for Republican leadership. The vote was 214-216, with several Republicans joining Democrats in voting against the resolution.”

    To paraphrase an anti-war ad, what if Republicans held an impeachment and no one came?

    “GOP Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas said it was unwise of leadership to put the bill on the floor not knowing for sure whether it would pass, adding to the perception that House Republicans can’t govern.”

    “Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina also criticized GOP leadership’s strategy on the Mayorkas vote. “I would have thought they would have known that. I would have thought that would have been basic,” Norman said of the whip count. “They’re good on the other side of knowing that. Is it that hard?”


    “Democratic Rep. Al Green of Texas, who has been absent recovering from surgery, was expected to miss the vote, which would have given House Republicans the margins they needed to impeach the Homeland Security secretary. But, sources said, Green was wheeled onto the House floor at the last minute with no shoes, to vote against impeaching Mayorkas and deliver a stunning defeat to Republicans.”

    Surprise! It’s Al no-shoes Green! (Speedy recovery, good sir.)

    “Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene disputed that it was a miscalculation to put the bill on the floor, telling CNN, “I don’t think it’s a failure at all,” and warning that the Republicans who voted to sink the impeachment articles would be hearing from voters.”

    Even reading her words is like nails on a chalkboard.

  20. Ivy – Agreed. A job, fair wages, OSHA protection, training/certifications for those getting out. However, I don’t like the idea of corporations profiting from their labor, and getting tax breaks on top of it all.

  21. Goofy ‘God’s Army’ convoy on Texas border shows Trump’s MAGA movement is just one long con

    The “God’s Army” convoy was supposed to be a mighty force of 700,000 or more people from every corner of America. It wound up being maybe a couple hundred vehicles parked at a rural ranch in Quemado, Texas – basically a Trump rally without a Trump, but with plenty of hucksters selling MAGA merch and grifting the easily grifted.


  22. When is the SOTU?   Biden can really hammer the GQP on licking Orange Adolf’s boots by not sending him an immigration bill to sign.  I’d like to see him bring up Social Security and Medicare, again, too.   It’s still on the chopping block as long as there’s a seated Republican.  
    Any word on LP or others doing a Super Bowl ad?   I suppose POTUS Joe will do a live remote  spot, as is the norm for a POTUS. 
    Craig – Yes, they interviewed one woman who was surprised the border wasn’t as bad as she thought it would be.  She was probably underwhelmed by the turnout, too.

  23. Nikki had a rough night, not that any delegates were up for grabs.

    “Nevada voters in the state-run primary had a choice to reject all the candidates on the ballot, and they did just that — with more people choosing to vote for “none of these candidates” than for Haley.”

    “Even Donald Trump knows that when you play penny slots, the house wins. We didn’t bother to play a game rigged for Trump. We’re full steam ahead in South Carolina and beyond,” spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas said.

    “The state Republican Party decided that only candidates who take part in the caucuses can win delegates. Trump is the only candidate set to participate in Thursday’s caucuses, putting him on a path to claim all of Nevada’s 26 delegates.”

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