User-Supported News Commentary Hosted by Craig Crawford
Another view from Andy Marlette:
The House GOP achieved new levels of dysfunction this week with their botched impeachment vote, Nikki Haley took second place in Nevada’s primary despite running unopposed, and the former president is pushing RNC chair Ronna McDaniel to resign.
Attribution: Speaker Clown Show by Dave Whamond, Canada, PoliticalCartoons.com
Kudos to CNN’s Abby Phillip for calling out Tucker Carlson for his lies…
GOP leaders face unrest amid chaotic, bungled votes – The Washington Post
The dysfunction in the House Republican conference was rivaled only by that of its counterpart in the Senate. Republicans this week killed a border security bill that a small bipartisan group of senators spent months negotiating after House Republicans telegraphed that their conference — and by extension, the far-right base led by former president Donald Trump — would not support the bill.
The GOP leaders’ shaky hold over their conferences has led Democrats to fret about whether the House can again avert a government shutdown ahead of a March 1 deadline — as well as whether Congress may abandon key U.S. allies during wartime.
The chaos that has plagued congressional Republicans has intensified as Trump has tightened his grip on the party in his bid to lock up the GOP presidential nomination. Johnson and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have applied dramatically different approaches to Trump, with Johnson keeping in lockstep with the former president while McConnell has frostily kept his distance. But Trump’s influence has minimized their credibility with and sway over their colleagues. It has also caused some members to fear that the emerging leadership vacuum and their inability to govern could cost them politically.
“That was a really massive failure,” one House GOP lawmaker said Wednesday of Johnson’s decision to bring the Mayorkas vote to the floor, followed by a failed vote to pass $17.6 billion in aid to Israel. “You combine that with what is going on right now with the whole Senate immigration debacle. … The way that these things have been handled — this is an opportunity for the White House to … dump this on our lap and that could be a huge political mistake.”
A similar sentiment was echoed later in the day in the Senate after a contentious closed-door GOP luncheon, where Republicans bemoaned the political disarray that has consumed them.
“It’s been a total disaster,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) declared to reporters about how GOP leaders handled the border bill. “Why would voters look at what goes on over here, this circus, and say we want more of this? … I don’t think the last three months could have been handled any worse than it has been handled from a leadership perspective.”
Senate Republicans, who tend to view themselves as the more deliberative and efficient legislative body, have over the past few months come to resemble their rowdier House counterparts: unable to follow through on major promises and increasingly beholden to the far-right flank of the party. As Trump and conservative commentators panned the border deal that would have marked the first significant action taken by Congress on immigration in decades, Senate Republicans soon pulled the rug out from under a colleague, Sen. James Lankford (Okla.), the lead GOP negotiator.
“I used to say that the Senate was a lot different than the House, that there were more Republican pragmatists, people who want to do the right thing for national security,” said Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.). “I don’t know if that’s still true anymore after this week, so I’m not sure where we go from here.”
In an angry floor speech ahead of the vote, Lankford said he was disappointed that some colleagues were deciding not to try to solve the border crisis simply because it’s a presidential election year. Lankford also said he was threatened by a “popular commentator,” who told him, “If you try to move a bill that solves the border crisis during this presidential year, I will do whatever I can to destroy you.”
The dual implosions served a blow to McConnell’s reputation as a canny political operator and Johnson’s bid to establish himself as a credible and authoritative leader.
Legislating during presidential election years has often been a challenge on Capitol Hill, depending on who holds the majority. Leaders have been prone to deferring major bills and politically risky decisions. But the level of productivity in the 118th Congress has been historically low: Congress passed just 29 bills that were signed into law last year. And there is little expectation of a flurry of activity ahead of November, as lawmakers are behind the curve on their most basic responsibilities — such as completing last year’s budget appropriations work.
After passing the third stopgap spending bill in four months to keep the federal government open at the end of January, lawmakers need to again avert a government shutdown. There is no clear plan on how to fund the government after that and there is limited time to negotiate a package, as the Senate will soon leave town for two weeks and the House will be in session for eight days over the rest of the month.
once more into the breach lucy tees up the football
US Senate to vote on standalone foreign aid package including Ukraine | US Congress | The Guardian
The Senate will reconvene Thursday to vote on a supplemental funding bill that would send billions of dollars to Ukraine and Israel, after a bipartisan border and national security package failed to advance on Wednesday.
Like the bipartisan bill, the foreign aid package would include military assistance for Ukraine, security assistance for Israel and humanitarian assistance for civilians in Ukraine, Gaza and the West Bank. The bill would not include the US border security measures outlined in the bipartisan bill, although some Republican senators expressed interest in adding border provisions through an amendment process.
The Senate held an initial vote on the foreign aid package on Wednesday, in which 58 members supported advancing it. But 60 votes will ultimately be required to approve the bill, so there is currently not enough support to get the legislation passed in the Senate.
There was some apparent uncertainty over how much support the bill had, forcing senators to keep the initial vote on the proposal open for four hours as they debated the best path forward. On Wednesday evening, the Senate majority leader, Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York, took to the floor to announce that members would reconvene Thursday to vote on the legislation.
“We will recess until tomorrow and give our Republican colleagues the night to figure themselves out,” Schumer said. “We’ll be coming back tomorrow at noon, and hopefully that will give the Republicans the time they need. We will have this vote tomorrow.”
The Self-Sabotaging GOP – WSJ
The Senate’s border deal collapsed on Wednesday, and the failed 49-50 vote was a formality: The measure was hemorrhaging Republican support even before it emerged over the weekend. The silver lining is that the Senate was also preparing to vote on an aid bill for Ukraine and Israel without the border provisions. We’ll soon find out if Republicans in Congress will fold to Donald Trump on that too.
The history of the border deal is being rewritten by opponents as the failure of chief negotiator James Lankford and GOP leader Mitch McConnell. The truth is that Mr. McConnell preferred a vote on the supplemental aid bill for Ukraine from the start. But the right of his caucus wanted cover for the Ukraine vote and demanded border reforms.
Mr. McConnell went along and appointed Mr. Lankford, who has an impeccable conservative voting record, to dive into the details. Mr. Lankford has visited the border a dozen times while in Congress, and he spent months looking under the hood of the U.S. immigration system and trying to discern what improvements might be possible in divided government. As the politics of the border got worse for Democrats, he was able to negotiate the most conservative border bill in decades, as we described Tuesday.
10am ET today Supreme Court hears oral arguments in case to decide if Trump is eligible for the ballot.
PBS NewsHour: LISTEN LIVE
I will be listening for signs whether key justices might just want to let the states make their own decisions on this. Siding with Trump is going to be a challenge for the strict constructionists and states rights advocates on the court.
Thanks Patd, love the toons. Hold my beer indeed. It’s a shame that callout of Tuckums’ lies was on CNN. It is well done but needs to be on a larger platform so actual people will see it.
Poobah, my expectations for what will come of this case are so low that the only way I could be disappointed is for the live feed to actually work. Colorado has a decent chance to win and no chance such a decision will have application beyond this particular case. I do believe the state’s right to run its elections has merit but I agree it will be hard to allow states to decide individually whether Dumbass acted contrary to Sect. 3 of the 14th.
Pogo, what’s interesting to me is how they had no worries about separate and contradictory state abortion laws emerging from the Dobbs decision. How do they reconcile bossing states around on ballot access? And for the strict constructionists, how do you avoid the plain language of Section 3?
I know there’s suspicion the Trump justices will be hypocrites to help him out, but we have not seen that so far in cases involving him. For instance, Clarence was the sole vote for his executive privilege claim in the documents case. And the court has often rejected his election fraud appeals.
pogo, if scotus goes the states’ rights way and several states drop him from their ballot, i envision the loser to (if he hasn’t begun already in anticipation) twist arms, threaten and call critter chits in bigly to “remove the disability” as section 3 provides. doubt though he can scare enough of ’em to make it to the 2/3 vote bar.
think it’s chaos in critterville now? imagine what it will be like then. less than nothing will get done, not even naming bldgs and bridges or trying to impeach mayorkas for the umpteenth time.
For House Republicans Failure is the only option
House Speaker Mike Johnson has been on the job for barely more than 100 days, but he has already accomplished the impossible. He has made Kevin McCarthy look like a legislative genius.
House Speaker Mike Johnson has been on the job for barely more than 100 days, but he has already accomplished the impossible. He has made Kevin McCarthy look like a legislative genius.
The name “Plumpty” will be on our CO Republican ballots. I won’t be getting one of those. My magga peeps will and no doubt will vote for him even though it’s entirely against their financial, spiritual, moral and legal interests that I won’t go into but let’s just start with dreamers. However, if the Court decides against Plumpty, the votes he received will not count.
One of the side dishes being produced in the courts decisions are quoting the far right cohort of the court formerly known as supreme. Shove their crap back in their faces and let them eat their own words. Some of it feels like the lower courts are trying to tell the top court to not take the case.
Today we shall see how that works out as the court did take the Colorado case.
could be scotus will ignore the problem of being/not being on ballot by just declaring one-time officers who engage in insurrections cannot be sworn in to hold another office no matter how many votes gotten.
sorta on the order of when the winner of nationwide popular vote (see hillary et al gore) doesn’t get presidency because of lacking electoral college count.
“Republicans Are Planning to Totally Privatize Medicare — And Fast”
“…Project 2025 agenda is radically right-wing. One item buried in the 887-page blueprint has attracted little attention thus far, but would have a monumental impact on the health of America’s seniors and the future of one of America’s most popular social programs: a call to “make Medicare Advantage the default enrollment option” for people who are newly eligible for Medicare.”
“Such a policy would hasten the end of the traditional Medicare program, as well as its foundational premise: that seniors can go to any doctor or provider they choose.”
“The change would be a boon for private health insurers — which generate massive profits and growing portions of their revenues from Medicare Advantage plans — and further consolidate corporate control over the United States health care system.”
“It would not likely benefit seniors, since the private plans limit the doctors they can see and often wrongfully deny patients’ care.”
“Because the plans are costly, experts say the GOP proposal could threaten the Medicare program’s solvency.”
“Philip Verhoef, president of the single-payer advocacy group Physicians for a National Health Program, tells Rolling Stone it would be “disastrous” to make Medicare Advantage the default enrollment option. “To do so would be really just a clear handout to the private insurance industry,” he says.
So, unfortunately I’m years away from Medicare, but my doctor explained Medicare Advantage to me. They estimate how much your care will cost and if it exceeds that amount, the doctor/doctor group has to pay for it. But, if you use less, the doctor/doctor group gets to keep the overage.
Ah, so they can DENY CARE to keep profits. Well, that should be illegal.
“President Biden would be barred from delivering the State of the Union address to Congress until he sends along a budget request and national security strategy, under legislation introduced Monday by Sen. Joni Ernst” [pig castrater from Iowa]
“The Send Us Budget Materials & International Tactics In Time (SUBMIT IT) Act would block House and Senate leadership from inviting the president to give the annual address until lawmakers receive those materials.”
Guess, what! POTUS Joe can just go on EVERY broadcast TV channel and speak DIRECTLY to the American people, anyway.
If this started on time, get a sandwich.
“We can’t pass a ham sandwich, but look how clever our acronyms are!”
Today’s GOP 🇺🇸 🤮
ok that’s weird we both thought the word ‘sandwich’ at the same time
someone took credit for being the ‘popular’ personality that threatened Sen. Lankford, and it’s some nazi-bro no one’s ever heard of, i ain’t linking him
yet another premium pun from patd today, NY Post eat your heart out 👍
The numb nuts called Langford a “eunuch,” yet it’s MAGAt Republicans whose balls are on the table if they don’t do Poo-tin’s, er, tRUMPsky’s bidding.
Unfortunately, “neo-nazi bro” has a huge following. There are a lot of folks out there with a taste for sh/t.
i ain’t too hip these days, but i know an ————- ———-g nazi when i see one
(holy moly is Today’s GOP 🇺🇸 🤮 obsessed with genitalia btw)
ok, i’ve polluted the thread enough, today, but not with profanity!
Colorado Petitioners speaking passionately.
Between fly shit and pepper. Fly shit wins.
Far be it from me to read tea leaves, but if I had to guess, I’d guess that Colorado will lose this one. I don’t think it should but I didn’t hear any of the cons on the court sound like they think a state has the authority to disqualify an insurrectionist from appearing on their ballot. I suppose it’s possible that a couple of them could surprise me, but what I heard was much more skepticism in their questioning of Mr. Murray about a single state disqualifying a candidate that could have the effect of depriving states that did not find the candidate’s insurrectionist actions disqualifying than of Mr. Mr. Mitchell, although they did express skepticism about some of Mitchell’s arguments that seemed to try and parse language regrading offices under the United States and officers along with his argument about a lack of implementing legislation for sect. 3 of the 14th Amendment.
If SFB ends up on the ballot (and it sounds like the Sham Court of the US is going to ignore the attempted coup by Orange Adolf), I hope he loses bigly.
I hope every MAGAt Republican realizes they’ve backed for wrong guy when there’s a blue tsunami, and that they are forever tainted. AND, I hope all of the critters in Congress involved in the J6 insurrection end up in the pokey.
Roevember is coming.
ps – Boo! I mean, Taylor Swift.
Lots of Kelse bros fans in PA, MO, KS, and NE, and that will impact the vote, as well.
POTUS Joe should just issue an EO that falls in line with the dead immigration bill; the border will be shut down if it gets to 5,000 trying to enter, and then if it’s untenable because of the funding portion, the chaos is on MAGAt Republicans.
MAGAts are the dumbest f-ers in office. They will lose EVERYTHING.
yeah, my guess is same, pogo, however they might hint that congress needs to provide some process to allow the implementation of sec. 3. that is when the critters can find time to do some legislating.
scotus may also suggest that the current law on the books prohibiting insurrection needs some tinkering to connect some dots in regard to sec. 3.
one or more of the justices will also hint to a requirement that the officer in question must be adjudicated in fed NOT state court to have engaged in an insurrection before sec. 3 applies to him.
Doesn’t look good for letting Colorado keep him off the ballot. if I’m Trump’s lawyer, i would have waived my rebuttal. All he could do is mess up where he is.
One thing for sure, it seems they will let stand lower court findings of fact that Trump engaged in an insurrection. No one even asked about it. But still, they’re gonna let him off on a technicality.
Would it have made a whit of difference if the framers had specified office holder instead of just officer?
It always comes down to separating the fly shit from the pepper.
Had not thought about this until the oral argument but based on what some of the justices were saying it seems to me a Democratic controlled Congress could refuse to inaugurate Trump based upon section 3.
Ha, great line Ivy: “always comes down to separating the fly shit from the pepper”
Didn’t get to listen to any of the SC stuff… had a long meeting this morning.
I didn’t hold out much hope for Colorado winning to begin with… not with this court.
These 17 GOP senators voted to advance a $95.3 billion Ukraine and Israel aid package — without the controversial border provisions that Republicans have rejected (msn.com)
The Senate is now poised to move forward with a bill that would provide billions in aid to Ukraine and Israel, setting up an eventual clash with House Republicans.
On Wednesday, 17 Republican senators joined with Democrats to begin debate on a version of the foreign aid bill that no longer includes any of the border security provisions. Hours earlier, the bill failed after Republicans panned the bipartisan deal that they had originally demanded.
Among those voting to proceed on the bill was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose support for Ukraine aid is increasingly at odds with the rest of the GOP.
The $95.34 billion package contains $60 billion in new aid to Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel, and $9.15 billion for humanitarian assistance, including for Gaza.
If Republican support stays at about the same level, it would represent a significant decline in support for Ukraine within the Senate GOP. In May 2022 — the last time the Senate voted on a bill primarily dealing with Ukraine aid — 39 GOP senators supported it.
The legislation could see further changes before a final vote, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer saying he expects an open amendment process. Several Democratic senators are hoping to impose new conditions on Israel aid amid the devastating war in Gaza, and Republicans may offer amendments of their own.
Many Republican lawmakers, particularly on the hard right, have been fervently opposed to further aid to Ukraine, arguing that it does not serve American interests and that the money would be better spent domestically in the United States.
Owing to that opposition, it’s unclear what path the bill would have through the House if it passes the Senate. House Speaker Mike Johnson has signaled some level of support for Ukraine aid since ascending to the top job, but he regularly voted against it as a rank-and-file lawmaker.
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has threatened to call a vote on ousting Johnson from the speakership if he allows another vote on Ukraine aid.
Meanwhile, some progressive Democrats are likely to oppose the package if it does not include conditions on Israel.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont voted against debating the foreign aid bill on Wednesday, saying in a statement that he does not support allowing Israel to “continue its horrific war against the Palestinian people.”
Thanks, Craig. It’s a tedious business for sure.
Not pretty! Special Counsel Hur: “Mr. Biden’s memory also appeared to have significant limitations. … He did not remember when he was vice president”
Seems like the write-up of a biased social worker.
Plumpty can’t remember where he was or what he was doing on January 6.
I’ll bet POTUS Joe knows the difference between Nikki Hayley and Nancy Pelosi, though.
Hell, Orange Adolf thought he ran against Obama.
POTUS Joe is still the more competent of the two, and he is surrounded by very capable people who aren’t yes-men.
They both could use some Prevagen.
“In the last week of 2023 and the first two weeks of 2024 alone, 4,810 people 65 and older lost their lives to Covid…”
“It boggles my mind that there isn’t more outrage,” said Alice Bonner, 66, senior adviser for aging at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. “I’m at the point where I want to say, ‘What the heck? Why aren’t people responding and doing more for older adults?’”
“It’s a good question. Do we simply not care?”
“Prejudice against older adults is nothing new, but “it feels more intense, more hostile” now than previously, said Karl Pillemer, 69, a professor of psychology and gerontology at Cornell University.”
“I think the pandemic helped reinforce images of older people as sick, frail and isolated — as people who aren’t like the rest of us,” he said. “And human nature being what it is, we tend to like people who are similar to us and be less well disposed to ‘the others.’”
“Everyone loves their own parents. But as a society, we don’t value older adults or the people who care for them,” said Robert Kramer, 74, co-founder and strategic adviser at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care.”
“That point is a core precept of the National Academy of Medicine’s 2022 report Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity. Older people are a “natural resource” who “make substantial contributions to their families and communities,” the report’s authors write in introducing their findings.”
“Those contributions include financial support to families, caregiving assistance, volunteering and ongoing participation in the workforce, among other things.”
Blueberries, POTUS Joe. Prevagen and wild blueberries.
Two years ago, I bought my dad a card game. He loves birds and it was a concentration game to match male and females; it had beautiful bird illustrations and I thought he could play with his girlfriend in assisted living. His response was that he didn’t have Alzheimer’s, because why else would I want him to play concentration. Cash. He only wants cash. LOL.
Chris Christie was on The View this morning, going on about Joe’s age. If he really doesn’t like tRUMPsky, he wouldn’t be trying to undermine POTUS Joe. Joy Bahar called him out; she’s the same age as Joe.
It’s totally untrue that Biden doesn’t remember being vice president. That’s just stupid.
At least he is doing the spinning himself, not leaving it to others.
Biden: “As many of you know, this was an exhaustive investigation. Going back literally more than 40 years. I went forward with a five hour in-person interview on October 8 and 9 last year. I was in the middle of handling an international crisis.”
Sturg, special counsel says he didn’t know when he was VP, the years
It is so inappropriate for a prosecutor deciding not to indict to include damaging opinions and information like this. Same thing Comey did to Hillary with the emails. The DOJ used to have a rule in these situations — put up or shut up.
Order just entered. Happy $83.3 Million Judgement Day!
Sadly, this “assessment” – whatever its intent – fits right into my magga peeps running narrative about Joe in his drool bib. That being the case, my focus in discussing it with them will remain on the deficits of the former president which include his own publicly displayed memory lapses, but are more greatly rooted in his obvious personality disorder that is untreatable and life-threatening for our democracy.
It’s Old vs. Crazy, that’s the frame Ivy. This vote will be simple risk assessment of that choice.
Can’t hold a glass with one hand, can’t walk down a ramp, stares into the sun, flushes documents, refuses to return documents, throws food at the wall, sexually assaults women, suggests humans drink bleach to fight a virus, uses his time in the WH to make money, thinks he ran against Obama, thinks Nikki Hayley was responsible for security on J6, grifts off of his dumbass followers, tried to overthrow the US government, lied about/inflated property values to get bank loans, lied about/deflated property values to avoid taxes, thinks Putin is a genius, promises he will be a dictator if given an opening, promises to get revenge, will be the spokesmodel for Project 2025 and the end of our democracy.
Guess who. It’s not POTUS Joe.
kindly old man and his competent administrators vs. unhinged lunatic and his army of incels
Biden going live at 745 to fight back
He’s fired up!
Oh no, he mixed up Mexico and Egypt while trying to show he’s mentally fit.
I turn 80 next month. While I wouldn’t want the schedule required to be President, my mental faculties are just fine thank you. Having said that, I do have trouble remembering movie star names but so does my 60 year old son. We sometimes just laugh and stare at each other until the elves find it in whichever brain cell was holding it hostage.
“Hur, a Republican, served as U.S. attorney of Maryland from 2018 to 2021, after being appointed by former President Donald Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions. He previously clerked for two well-known conservative judges, including archconservative Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist.”
Hur is a filthy MAGAt! but he should realize that tRUMPsky will only use him, because when it comes down to it, white nationalists won’t keep him around.
“Cognitive Decline? Trump Mixes Up Autocrats Who Love Him”
“Donald Trump blundered the name of one of his international friends during a campaign speech on Monday, mispronouncing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s name as “Viktor Orbán”—prime minister of Hungary.”
“Trump slurs his words while ranting…”
“Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff secretly bought a book in which 27 mental health professionals warned that the president was psychologically unfit for the job, then used it as a guide in his attempts to cope with Trump’s irrational behavior.”
Fox reporter: How bad is your memory?
President Biden: My memory is so bad I let you speak
“…then used it as a guide in his attempts to cope with Trump’s irrational behavior.”
You need a license for that.
You do not need a license to try to deal with someone on a day-to-day basis, you just can’t treat them.
However, did the guy who wrote the report on Biden’s document handling have a license to diagnose him?
Apparently he’s been seething all day. WAPO: Biden blew up in a private meeting with some House Democrats earlier Thursday. When he was asked how he was doing, he said, “How the fuck could I forget the day my son died? Of course I remember everything,” per two people familiar with his comments.
I’m pissed off for him. That report was released with those personal opinions about President Biden, by a Republican who wants to undermine his campaign.
We’ll use your son’s death against you, Today’s GOP 🇺🇸 🤮
It’s totally untrue that Biden doesn’t remember being vice-president when his son died. That’s just stupid, not to mention scurrilous, venal, and vile.
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