Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Last Call For The Good Package, Con't

Corporate lobbyists in DC are doing everything they can to burn down the $3.5 billion Good Package, because of the corporate tax hikes and regulatory improvements. They don't want a piece of the pie, they want to bury the whole deal.


“We’re doing it in every way you can imagine,” said Aric Newhouse, the senior vice president for policy at the National Association of Manufacturers, when asked about the group’s lobbying. He added that the tax increases Democrats have pursued would mean “manufacturing families will suffer, jobs will be lost.”

Disney, Pfizer and Exxon declined to comment. Jessica Boulanger, a spokeswoman for the Business Roundtable, said in a statement it is engaged in “a significant, multifaceted campaign” to stop tax hikes and would “continue to ramp up our efforts in the coming weeks.”

Brian Newell, a spokesman for PhRMA, stressed that the group supports general pricing reforms — just not the ideas Democrats are pursuing. “The industry is willing to come to the table and do its fair share to help deliver real relief to patients at the pharmacy, not empty promises that will do more harm than good,” he said in a statement.

The raft of lobbying arrives as lawmakers begin to translate Biden’s broader economic vision into legislation. Democratic leaders have said their reconciliation measure can expand Medicare coverage, offer universal prekindergarten, provide new help to low-income families, and invest substantial sums toward fighting climate change.

Hoping to give Biden a win, Democrats have aimed to send the package to his desk as soon as September. Their race to enact legislation has set off a mad dash on Capitol Hill, a process that is sure to test the president’s political influence — and the durability of Democrats’ narrow, potent and fractious majorities in both chambers of Congress.

In a sign of the obstacles Democrats face, the Chamber of Commerce last week took a firm stand against the package, promising to do “everything we can” to prevent Congress from adopting it in full. The group’s president and chief executive, Suzanne Clark, issued the statement hours after the House adopted the $3.5 trillion budget that enabled Democrats to begin crafting tax and spending provisions — an approach, she said, that would “halt America’s fragile economic recovery.”

The Chamber’s opposition marked a major shift in tone from earlier this summer, when the business lobby locked arms with Democrats to help advance another centerpiece of Biden’s economic agenda. The group threw its full weight behind a bipartisan Senate package to improve the nation’s roads, bridges, pipes, ports and Internet connections, arguing that the roughly $1 trillion in fixes were long overdue.

Once the Senate adopted the package, however, the Chamber turned up the pressure on the House. Last week, for example, it unleashed widely viewed ads on Facebook praising the nine moderate Democrats who had threatened to block the party’s budget unless they could first secure a House vote on infrastructure spending. Democrats ultimately resolved their internal stalemate, paving the way for both packages to proceed this month, but not before the Chamber sought to highlight the party’s internal divisions in ads that together received millions of views.

The Chamber declined to comment about its plans, including the behind-the-scenes work to assemble a coalition. Neil Bradley, the group’s executive vice president, blasted Democrats for pursuing a bill “that proposes to fundamentally rewrite the rules of the road across virtually every major industrial sector.
The big issue of course is that one of the main revenue components of the Good Package is reversing the Trump corporate tax cuts. These corporate types will burn the package to the ground and the Dems along with it in order to stop it.
We'll see who wins.

McCarthy In The Messy Morass Middle

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy isn't going to be able to put off the question of impeaching President Joe Biden over absolutely nothing until January 2023, as the bloody ghouls in his own party are demanding impeachment hearings of Biden officials over Afghanistan now.

As hard as Kevin McCarthy has hammered the White House over the chaotic and deadly U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, he’s under rising pressure from his right to go further.

The House minority leader has repeatedly pushed back on rank-and-file Republicans who want to make a high-stakes call for impeaching Biden over his handling of Afghanistan — a vow that would come due should the GOP take back the chamber next November. But multiple House Republican sources said that even before Tuesday’s fraught end to the U.S. military mission, their offices were being bombarded with calls from base voters for a future Biden impeachment or another more forceful response against the administration.

“It’s a grassroots pressure — we're feeling it,” said freshman Rep. Barry Moore (R-Ala.), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. “I think even some of the Democrats are feeling it.”

While Republicans would have no path to impeaching Biden while still in the House minority, and any GOP-instigated impeachment trial would go nowhere unless the Senate also changed hands in the midterms, the constituent pressure could persuade more reluctant members of McCarthy’s conference to back an escalation in the party’s messaging against Biden. McCarthy, who endorsed former President Donald Trump’s call to pull troops from Afghanistan, already has promised “a day of reckoning” that includes investigations and hearings on Biden’s handling of the U.S. pullout if Republicans win the majority.

Should the House flip next year, however, McCarthy will then need near-unified support from conservatives in order to secure the speaker’s gavel. And notably, while the California Republican tries to keep his focus on getting Americans out of Afghanistan safely, most of the pro-impeachment energy is coming from his right flank.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus discussed whether to endorse calling for Biden to be impeached during a meeting last week, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the confab. While some were not ready to commit to impeaching Biden, almost all members agreed that “doing nothing is not an option at this point,” according to a Freedom Caucus member at the meeting who talked about it candidly on condition of anonymity.

Freedom Caucus members were “preparing for calling for resignations and or impeachment” last week, this GOP lawmaker said, but were also realistic about the Democratic line of succession. Some Republicans say privately that they have raised the ascension of Vice President Kamala Harris to constituents as a reason why they are not behind impeachment.

The group is planning a Tuesday press conference to urge Speaker Nancy Pelosi to call Congress back into session early so lawmakers can vote on a GOP resolution backing impeachment of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as well as GOP resolutions calling for the resignations of Biden, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Gen. Mark Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

McCarthy already made his own call for Pelosi to bring the House back into session ahead of Tuesday’s U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, telling GOP members in a Sunday letter that Republicans would try to force floor action by filing a discharge petition on a bill that he says would “empower our military with the support they need to get Americans home.” The House GOP also plans to use the upcoming debate over the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to spotlight problems with the U.S. pullout.

U.S. officials said Monday night following the military's withdrawal, scores of Americans remained in Afghanistan who had wanted to leave amid an unstable situation as the Taliban took full control of the country.

Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said Monday that the party already has 50 NDAA amendments on Afghanistan, aimed at U.S. equipment that may have been left behind and the closure of Bagram airbase ahead of the withdrawal, among other issues.
Going after Biden is one thing, but going after Blinken, Austin, and Milley is going to be a tall order without it looking like the GOP is going after the troops and the generals, especially since getting out of Afghanistan is very popular.

Once again, McCarthy's in a trap. He either has to overplay his hand, or be removed from power.

Couldn't happen to a nicer jackass.

Disinformation Nation, Con't

Trust in major news organizations has plummeted among Americans in the last two years, and nearly all of that drop is thanks to Republicans, who are too stupid to believe anything unless it's shat out of Trump's ass.

In just five years, the percentage of Republicans with at least some trust in national news organizations has been cut in half – dropping from 70% in 2016 to 35% this year. This decline is fueling the continued widening of the partisan gap in trust of the media.

Nearly eight-in-ten Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (78%) say they have “a lot” or “some” trust in the information that comes from national news organizations – 43 percentage points higher than Republicans and Republican leaners (35%) – according to a new Pew Research Center survey conducted June 14-27, 2021. This partisan gap is the largest of any time that this question has been asked since 2016. And it grows even wider – to 53 points – between liberal Democrats (83%) and conservative Republicans (30%).

The 35% of Republicans who have at least some trust in national news organizations in 2021 is half that of in 2016 (70%) – and has dropped 14 points since late 2019 (49%). By comparison, Democrats have remained far more consistent in the past five years, ranging somewhere between 78% and 86%.

Overall, about six-in-ten U.S. adults (58%) say they have at least some trust in the information that comes from national news organizations. While still a majority, this is the smallest share over the past five years this question was asked. When it was last asked in late 2019, 65% expressed at least some trust. And far fewer (12%) express that they have “a lot” of trust in the information that comes from national news organizations.

Americans tend to have greater trust in local news organizations – though there is somewhat of a decline here as well. A large majority of Americans (75%) still say they have at least some trust in the information that comes from local news organizations, modestly lower than the shares who said the same in 2016 (82%) and in late 2019 (79%). And again, far fewer express the highest level of trust (18%).

A similar partisan divide emerges when it comes to local news, though to a lesser extent. As of June 2021, Democrats are 18 percentage points more likely than Republicans to have at least some trust in the information that comes from local news organizations (84% vs. 66%, respectively) – a gap that is again larger than at any time in recent years. Five years ago, 85% of Democrats had at least some trust in local news organizations, while 79% of Republicans did.

Social media continues to engender a much lower level of trust. About a quarter of Americans (27%) say they have at least some trust in the information that comes from social networking sites, with just 4% expressing that they have a lot of trust in it. This is about on par with late 2019 when 26% said they had at least some trust, but somewhat lower than the 34% who said the same in 2016. (In 2016, this question was asked of internet-using U.S. adults.)

Social media is trusted by a minority of both parties, though a partisan gap still exists. About a third of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (34%) and 19% of Republicans and Republican leaners say they have at least some trust in the information that comes from social media – a 15-point gap. This gap is larger than gaps from any other time in recent years and has nearly doubled since late 2019.
At least there remains a healthy skepticism of everything social media, and that's good, but I think Republicans are lying about this because they're supposed to "hate" Twitter and Facebook for banning Trump. They have no problem getting their disinformation from the Right-Wing Noise Machine on a daily basis.

Trump did more to destroy American institutions than America's enemies could ever dream of, and right now we're ripe for an autocratic takeover by the right.

Here's hoping that enough of us with common sense can resist before the bullets start flying.


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