Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Last Call For Florida Man Draws Challenger

Florida GOP Sen. Rick Scott has finally gotten a serious Democratic challenger for his Senate seat, which given the state of Florida Democrats, means former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell will probably only lose by the low teens instead of being blown out by 20 or 30 points in 2024.

Former Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell announced Tuesday she will challenge Republican Sen. Rick Scott, a former two-term Florida governor viewed as the favorite in 2024.

Mucarsel-Powell, who came to the U.S. at age 14 from Ecuador, has long been on a short list of potential Democratic candidates. In recent weeks, a number of state and national Democratic leaders have coalesced around her. Florida House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell, who was also rumored to be considering a run against Scott, said in an interview Monday that she will remain in the Legislature.

Mucarsel-Powell has talked to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee — which conducted a poll on her behalf — and says she anticipates having enough support to mount a serious campaign, even as national Democrats must defend seats in Wisconsin, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Montana and Arizona.

“Rick Scott is trying to raise taxes on our families. He wrote a plan to end Social Security and Medicare Advantage coverage for our seniors,” Mucarsel-Powell said in the interview.

Scott pitched the plan, which he dubbed the “Rescue America” plan, during the 2022 midterms as he chaired the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The plan included a proposal to sunset all federal legislation after five years, including entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security. It also included language that “all Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game.” He later revised the proposal, but it is expected to be a prime part of Democratic attacks against him.

In May, Scott said in an interview that he welcomed Democrats’ trying to use the plan against him.

I will fight over my ideas any day,” Scott said at the time, adding that President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., “all lied about it. I was never going to cut any programs.”

Democrats were slow to coalesce around a candidate this cycle, reflecting the uphill climb in defeating Scott, who has never lost a statewide race. Scott is also one of the wealthiest members of Congress, with the ability to self-finance his campaign, although he has said he will not need to do so in this election.

While a number of long-shot Democrats have jumped into the race, Mucarsel-Powell is not expected to have serious competition for the nomination at this point.

“We’d like to welcome yet another failed congressional candidate to the crowded Democrat primary,” Scott Communications Director Priscilla Ivasco said. “Former Congresswoman Mucarsel-Powell is a radical socialist who voted 100% of the time with Nancy Pelosi during her short tenure in Congress, which is why the voters of South Florida booted her out of office the first chance they got. Floridians already rejected her once and they will reject her again.”
Considering Rick Scott currently runs the NRSC and that the threatened audits against his profligate spending in 2022 that failed to capture the Senate have all but mysteriously vanished, paving the way for a possible presidential run, it's possible that Batboy might overreach and blow both shots.

But considering he has unlimited resources for his Senate bid, I expect that he'll have an easy time of it, the same way Mitch and Rand have done here in Kentucky.

Or maybe...he loses.

The Road To Gilead Goes Through Indiana

With the final appeal by the ACLU to Indiana's state Supreme Court denied, the 2022 abortion ban signed into law by GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb now goes into effect.

Indiana’s near-total abortion ban is now in effect after the Indiana Supreme Court on Monday denied a request from the ACLU and Planned Parenthood to rehear the case.

For all practical purposes, health care providers had been following the abortion law since Aug. 1, though the process of the legal case ticked on.

Monday’s news comes more than a year after Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the law at the end of the 2022 special legislative session.

At the end of July, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood asked for a rehearing to clarify exemptions in the law related to an exemption to the life of the mother.

However, Chief Justice Loretta Rush, in an opinion, stated that the parties asking for a rehearing in the case did not “properly” put concerns about the impact of the abortion law on Hoosier women seeking medical care for serious health conditions or on health care providers.

The ACLU and Planned Parenthood wanted the court to maintain the injunction that completely stopped the ban from going into effect while it pursued another injunction in trial court, according to Rush’s opinion.

Justice Christopher Goff was the only member of the state’s Supreme Court to dissent with the denial to rehear the case.

In a prepared statement, Attorney General Todd Rokita said his office has defended the law every step of the way and applauded the court's decision.

“This is great news for Hoosier life and liberty," he said. "We defeated the pro-death advocates who try to interject their views in a state that clearly voted for life.”

In a statement, ACLU of Indiana executive director Jane Henegar said it's a "dark day" in the state's history.

"We have seen the horrifying impact of bans like this across the country, and the narrow exceptions included in this extreme ban will undoubtedly put Hoosiers’ lives at risk," Henegar said in the statement. "We will continue to fight in court to clarify and expand upon the current exceptions. Every person should have the fundamental freedom to control their own body and politicians’ personal opinions should play no part in this personal decision.”

IndyStar has reached out to the branch of Planned Parenthood that includes Indiana.
The ban criminalizes the procedure outside of hospitals, and bans all abortions except for cases of rape, incest, the health of the mother is at stake, and fatal fetal anomalies, but even then the exceptions for the life of the mother are limited to 20 weeks and rape and incest, ten. It's horrific across the board and the ban will kill women in the state, but Republicans don't care.

The majority of women of child-bearing age now live under partial or near-total abortion bans in the US, and Indiana's ban is effectively total. It's going to take a massive number of votes in order to beat the gerrymandering in these red states giving Republicans supermajority status in state legislatures. We can't abandon these states and the people in them to these monsters.

The road to Gilead has to end.

The Revenge Of The Return Of The Son Of Shutdown Countdown, Redux

If it's August, House Republicans must be trying to shut down the federal government again, and this year is only different in the respect that there's a large enough bloc in the House GOP Freedom Caucus to force Speaker Kevin McCarthy to get Democratic votes to pass any legislation, and that Democrats get to make their demands too.

The ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus is demanding a series of conservative policy changes in exchange for giving their support to any short-term funding measure designed to avert a government shutdown on Sept. 30.

The Republican rebels are insisting that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who floated the idea of a stopgap bill last week, impose conditions that are extremely unlikely to be accepted by the Democratic-led Senate and President Joe Biden.

In a statement Monday, the Freedom Caucus said its official position was that the group’s members would oppose any bill unless it includes their preferred language on border security, new laws to address what they call the “weaponization” of the Justice Department and FBI and a shift in some of the Pentagon’s policies — although they didn’t detail all the changes they want.

“We refuse to support any such measure that continues Democrats’ bloated COVID-era spending and simultaneously fails to force the Biden Administration to follow the law and fulfill its most basic responsibilities,” the statement said, adding that any short-term bill that continues funding at current levels represents a position they “vehemently opposed” months ago.

The speaker will likely have to take the conservative demands into account given his party’s slim margin of control in the House, as he did during the fight over raising the nation’s debt ceiling, when their demands formed the basis for the House Republican negotiating position with the White House.

It is unlikely Democrats would help supply the votes for McCarthy to pass a short-term spending bill that includes the policy demands of the Freedom Caucus. And if they did, conservatives have held open the option to retaliate by forcing a vote to overthrow him as speaker.

After the group issued its demands, House Democratic leader, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, of New York, tweeted: “House Republicans are determined to shutdown the government and crash our economy. We will fight these MAGA extremists every step of the way.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a terse response to the Freedom Caucus demands: “If the House decides to go in a partisan direction it will lead to a Republican caused shutdown,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement.

Republicans basically want all the things that lost the last time they tried to shut down the government earlier this year, so we're right back to the same hostage situation were were in a few months earlier.

But it's closer to the 2024 election this time, and crashing the economy now is something these assholes want to blame on Biden heading into November of next year. 
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