Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Last Call For Operation Rehabilitation

There will always be one place where having a Trump regime job on the resume will actually help getting you hired, and that's the right-wing noise machine at FOX News.

Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany will officially join Fox News as an on-air commentator, the network announced Tuesday.

The news, which was announced by Fox News host Harris Faulkner, comes after weeks during which the network had equivocated about McEnany's role at the network.

"It is my distinct pleasure to welcome Kayleigh McEnany to the Fox family," Faulkner said. "We will be seeing much more of her."

A spokesperson for Fox News declined to comment beyond Faulkner's statements.

McEnany, a former CNN contributor, was a spokesperson for Trump's 2020 re-election campaign and took on the role of White House press secretary last spring. She told reporters as she took the job: "I will never lie to you."

That promise quickly became the subject of criticism, as McEnany routinely defended and promoted misleading statements made by then-President Donald Trump. McEnany proved to be one of Trump's most ardent defenders during the election, with Fox News at one point cutting away from a press conference she held in early November in which she pushed false claims of voting irregularities.

McEnany is the latest person to walk through the revolving door between Fox News and the Trump White House: Sarah Sanders, another former press secretary, joined Fox News before leaving to eye a run for Arkansas governor. Larry Kudlow, Trump's former economic director, recently joined Fox Business Network where he hosts his own show. Hope Hicks, Trump's longtime communications director, also joined Fox News' parent company, Fox Corp., in 2018 to serve as its executive vice president and chief communications officer. She later returned to the Trump White House.
As the Big Lie machine gears up for attacking Biden and the Dems and supporting Trump through his legal woes, the familiar faces of Trump's propaganda corps on FOX will put them back on top. It's what the cultists want, and it's what they'll get.
Kayleigh the professional liar only changed who signs her paychecks, not her job. 

But I bet there's an extra zero on the salary at the new gig.

It's About Suppression, Con't

Georgia state House Republicans have passed their raft of voter suppression measures to make sure Black turnout can never again approach what it was in November and January.

A bill to restrict ballot drop boxes, require more ID for absentee voting and limit weekend early voting days passed the Georgia House on Monday amid protests that the proposals would make it harder for voters to participate in democracy.

The House voted along party lines, 97-72, on the sweeping elections bill supported by Republicans who want to impose new voting requirements after losing presidential and U.S. Senate races in Georgia.

Democrats opposing the legislation said it creates obstacles for voting that will do more to reduce turnout than increase election security.

The bill now heads to the state Senate, where a committee voted Monday to end no-excuse absentee voting, which would require most voters to cast ballots in person. That legislation could receive a vote in the full Senate within days.

Georgia is at the center of a nationwide debate over election access and security, brought on by Republican Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud. Election officials, including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, have said there’s no evidence of widespread fraud that could have changed the election, and the results were verified by recounts and audits.

During a 2 1/2-hour debate in the Georgia House, state Rep. Kimberly Alexander said the bill would lead to voter suppression by creating hurdles to casting a ballot.

“Republicans in the Georgia General Assembly are trying to change the rules of the election here in Georgia, rules that you wrote, because you were handed defeat,” said Alexander, a Democrat from Hiram. “You know that your only chance of winning future elections is to prevent Georgians from having their votes counted and their voices heard.”

But Republican legislators said their proposals will build voters’ trust in elections after it was shaken by members of their own political party. Their policies would put new limits on absentee voting, used by a record 1.3 million Georgians in the presidential election, two-thirds of whom voted for Democrat Joe Biden.

Legislative Republicans who supported Trump’s claims have not contested the results of their own General Assembly elections.

“Our goal in this bill is to make sure that Georgia’s election results get back quickly and accurately,” said state Rep. Barry Fleming, R-Harlem. “The way we begin to restore confidence in our voting system is by passing this bill. There are many commonsense measures improving elections in this bill.”

Other backers of the bill said it would help prevent the possibility of fraud and create consistency across the state in voting access and funding.

Protesters waved signs and chanted “no voter suppression” at the Capitol on Monday, making their voices heard as legislators prepared to vote. A previous protest on Friday led to a confrontation when an officer grabbed Democratic state Rep. Park Cannon’s arm after she stood in front of an officer’s bullhorn.

“This bill is going against all the accessibility that makes voting possible by removing absentee and early voting hours,” said Regine Shabazz, an Atlanta resident protesting at Liberty Plaza outside the Capitol.

Limits on absentee voting will harm the poor and those without transportation to polling places, said Melissa McCollum of Gainesville who was in the group of protesters.

“We have proven again and again that our election was fair and not compromised, so why are they trying to reduce voting rights? I don’t get it,” McCollum said.


There's not much to get. It's voter suppression of Black voters in a Southern state in service to white supremacy. It's a tale as old as America itself.

It's all the GOP has left.

The Day Hell Froze Over In Texas, Con't

The lights may be back on and the water is working for some, but millions of Texans are still suffering after decades of Republican mismanagement left infrastructure vulnerable, and they need immediate help from a federal government that Texans have been told can't help them, won't help them, and shouldn't help them. One of Joe Biden's first real tests is to prove Republicans wrong.

The plumbing in Marilu Leyva's mobile home looks as if it was mangled by a monster, and it no longer delivers water. The damage to Hussein Kamel's power-washing equipment by the freeze forced his family business to cancel jobs. The recliner where Albert Hoelscher's wife sat for days and nights in the bone-chilling cold is now empty.

Two weeks after a deadly winter storm led to a near-collapse of the Texas power grid, temperatures in many cities are back in the 60s and 70s, the ice and snow have melted, and electricity and water service have mostly been restored. But widespread damage remains: burst pipes that must be replaced; crops and livestock that died in the cold; business equipment that was destroyed; and the loss of more than 30 lives.

Millions of Texans are wondering what it will take to recover, how much it will cost and who will help them.

Large swaths of the state are still assessing the extent of the damage, and the state legislature is holding hearings to determine what went wrong and what changes are needed. President Biden visited Houston on Friday and promised that the federal government is “in for the long haul” and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide millions of dollars in aid, including help for uninsured homeowners.

Since the storm hit, local elected leaders and volunteers pulled together in cities and communities across the state to fill people’s immediate needs of food and water. But the longer-term fixes needed to make Texans whole are a window into the disparities that disasters magnify, especially in affluent cities such as Austin.

“Please don’t forget about us,” said Leyva, 40, whose beloved mobile home park is tucked between a creek and railroad tracks near million-dollar homes, trendy restaurants and a popular beer garden in a rapidly gentrifying area three miles from downtown Austin. “We still need help.”

For 15 years, Leyva has saved her wages from working as a nanny to beautify the interior of the home she shares with her teenage son. But beneath the carefully laid linoleum was a deteriorating plumbing system that snapped when water froze inside the plastic pipes. Power has returned after being out for roughly five days, but she and about 50 families in her community have not had running water since the first freeze.

Those who live in this largely immigrant community rarely ask for help from outsiders. But they have had to rely uncomfortably on the kindness of friends and strangers in the short term, because the price tag for repairs is beyond what they can afford. Losing a week of work after a year of inconsistent employment is also not helping matters.

Early on, neighbors trudged through the snow to a nearby brewery in search of drinking water. Others posted pleas on social media that were seen by local community organizers who brought food, bottled water and a cube of potable water to the mobile home park. Another local arranged for a food truck to cook meals for the community.

The trailer park residents relish being hidden away from the bustle of the capital city to live their quiet lives. But their predicament required them to yell for help and accept the generosity.

“I don’t know how much longer we can endure this,” said Julia De Los Santos, 45, who lives in the park and posted a plea on social media.
Nobody expects GOP Gov. Greg Abbott to lift a finger. He'll just blame Biden. Meanwhile, Abbott says he's going to lift all COVID-19 restrictions "pretty soon". And Texas Republicans are just going to pretend that everything is fine and normal again.

But it's not. We need a national infrastructure plan, a multi-trillion dollar Marshall Plan for the US, another Public Works Administration for a new era.

Republicans will never allow it.

And on top of that, people in Texas need help today. Right now.

Hoping they get it won't be enough.


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