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Biden our time until 2022 and 2024: Suffering Without End Reloaded???
(06-19-2021, 01:40 AM)Iron Maiden Wrote: I guess those dwindling pew numbers in the U.S. are just not a concern:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/18/us/ta...ticleShare

"Hmmm, church attendance numbers are down, how can we alienate more people?"

A Hawaiian shirt is like a cash gift - always appropriate
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The Bidens' dog, Champ, passed away, and, well, this is one way to respond to that, I guess:

https://twitter.com/SykesCharlie/status/...0993716232

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For some reason, McLaughlin still gets respect as a "reasonable" conservative.
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"Anyone who hates children and small dogs can't be all bad."

But what about large dogs? I think this guy may be bad.
"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth."--Steve McQueen
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I feel horrible because I laughed hard at that.
If I could change to liquid, I'd fill the cracks and bend the rocks.
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(06-19-2021, 01:40 AM)Iron Maiden Wrote: I guess those dwindling pew numbers in the U.S. are just not a concern:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/18/us/ta...ticleShare

  The Catholic Church doesn't care about their child molesting priests problem and they don't pay taxes, therefore they should shut the fuck up!
I've got good news and I've got bad news. The bad news is I've lost my way. The good news is I'm way ahead of schedule!
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Ron Klain's response is at the link:

https://twitter.com/AlexThomp/status/140...5948673026

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Man, America was great in June 2020, wasn't it??
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Oh yeah, I was only driving to work and back and ohhhhh...
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Meanwhile gas is $4 in LA right now.  Good thing I don't commute anymore.
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I drive a company truck. I haven’t paid for gas in years.
If I could change to liquid, I'd fill the cracks and bend the rocks.
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I missed this story from a few weeks ago:

https://www.autoblog.com/2021/06/04/bide...recycling/

Quote:President Joe Biden's strategy to make the United States a powerhouse in electric vehicles will include boosting domestic recycling of batteries to reuse lithium and other metals, according to government officials.

As Biden makes fighting climate change and competing with China centerpieces of his agenda, the administration is set to wrap up a 100-day review on Friday of gaps in supply chains in key areas, including electric vehicles.

These gaps include the minerals used in EV batteries and consumer electronics. The administration is also looking for ways to reduce metal usage in new battery chemistries.

Reports from various government agencies will be submitted to the White House, a process Biden ordered in an executive order earlier this year. Parts of the reports could be released publicly as soon as next week.

Democrats are pushing aggressive climate goals to have a majority of U.S.-manufactured cars be electric by 2030 and every car on the road to be electric by 2040.
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https://twitter.com/ReichlinMelnick/stat...5642097667

Quote:I need everyone screaming about "open borders" to take a long, long look at this chart. 

The actual number of people processed under normal immigration law (and not rapidly expelled back to Mexico) under Biden in 2021 never even hit half the number of people as in 2019.

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Beware of privatization in a possible infrastructure deal:

https://prospect.org/politics/bipartisan...recycling/

Quote:If you believe that the Senate bipartisan infrastructure proposal is just part of a whole—that some of President Biden’s spending can pass in there under regular order, and the rest in a larger reconciliation package—then you might see it as a benign way to boost Biden’s bipartisan deal-making capabilities without sacrificing anything. As I’ve written, there’s not yet enough trust among the Democratic caucus for Biden to make that sale.

But if you see the bill as not wholly additive but subtractive, you might reject it on its own terms. We haven’t heard this critique much from progressive opponents of the proposal; mostly they talk about the lack of climate mitigation or other policies, and how passage of a second bill later is not guaranteed. But there’s an extremely valid concern about the substance of the bipartisan package.

We don’t have many details (perhaps by design) about the effort, save for a “fact sheet” that reportedly was only written by one of the 21 Senators involved. But we know that Republicans have rejected offsetting any of the $579 billion in new spending in the bill with tax increases, Biden’s preferred method for his entire American Jobs and Families Plans. Instead, the fact sheet lists 11 alternatives. It does vow to “reduce the IRS tax gap,” earmarking more money for tax enforcement to increase revenue from existing law. But the  Gang of 21 agrees with the Congressional Budget Office’s picayune scoring of that provision ($40 billion in investment only yielding $63 billion in revenue), forcing them to dig deeper. 

Many have focused on the electric vehicle surcharge and gas tax indexing to inflation; the latter has popped in and out of the package, as the Biden administration has rejected user fees of this type as a violation of his campaign pledge to not raise taxes on anyone making under $400,000 a year. The list also absurdly includes “paying” for infrastructure investments with direct-pay municipal bonds and an “infrastructure financing authority,” which are just other modes of borrowing.

But the really scary piece is labeled “Public private partnerships, private activity bonds, and asset recycling.” In the name of building world-class infrastructure, these lawmakers would sell it off in fire sales to private financiers. We have lots of experience with infrastructure privatization that strongly suggests it should be avoided.

There was a time when Democrats did oppose such schemes; it was during the Trump administration. To the extent that Trump had an infrastructure vision, it was rooted in privatization. Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro, who would each take high-level jobs in the Trump administration, wrote a paper before the 2016 election outlining their vision: $1 trillion in investment provided by private bond buyers, who would be guaranteed a tax credit to buy the bonds, interest on the debt, and an equity stake with dividends (with up to a 10 percent profit margin). It adds the usual song and dance about how private enterprise is so much more efficient than the public sector, therefore saving money overall.

It takes about two seconds to recognize how ridiculous this is. The government doesn’t require a 10 percent margin on equity, tax credits, and interest payments. That’s a layer of profit that gets built into the expenditure. Governments usually contract out design and construction to private contractors, but there are only two ways for these companies to reduce ownership and operation costs below what the public sector would spend, while still being profitable. They can cut back, either on safety or labor or maintenance; or they can extract a lot of profit from users of the infrastructure (think toll roads). If the infrastructure isn’t inherently profitable, like a bridge in New York City or a toll road in southern California might be, the upgrade probably won’t get built.

Democrats rightly and loudly objected to giving up public assets to private investors at the time. The biggest money-makers would be favored, they said, and less lucrative projects in rural or impoverished areas shunned. Governments would not only lose ownership but democratic control over roads, water systems, electrical grids, and who knows what else. As companies manage costs, it could lead to less resilient, more dangerous infrastructure. And the public would have a high likelihood of being gouged.
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Biden plans to host a White House ceremony this year for the unveiling of Obama's official portrait, reviving a longtime tradition Trump skipped:

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-h...d-n1271364
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I wish the painter Francis Bacon was still alive because he is the only one that could accurately capture the true soul of DJT.

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I used to be with "it", but then they changed what "it" was. Now, what I'm with isn't "it", and what's "it" seems weird and scary to me.   -Grandpa Simpson
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I posed for that painting, Titanic-style.
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Hieronymus Bosch would be my choice to capture Trump's soul, but sadly he isn't available.
I've got good news and I've got bad news. The bad news is I've lost my way. The good news is I'm way ahead of schedule!
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Because he's on the TV show?
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He is on the big TV show in the sky.
I've got good news and I've got bad news. The bad news is I've lost my way. The good news is I'm way ahead of schedule!
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So whats going on with this infrastructure deal?

Seeing that Biden whittled down the bill to next to nothing, to get 10 Republicans on board to support it. Then he and Pelosi both went on TV and said whatever gets left out of this bill is going into a second bill that they'll pass via reconciliation. And now those 10 Republicans heard that and, not surprisingly, are getting cold feet on the shittier "bipartisan" bill.

So why announce the second reconciliation bill? Getting Republicans on record, saying that they support this bipartisan bill, only to have them back out when they find out the administration will still be passing other parts of their legislative agenda is... kinda smart? Maybe? It'd be a devastating self-own for Republicans if they actually gave a shit about messaging and helping their constituents, but we know that they don't.
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I think they panicked when they saw they the backlash and tipped their hands.
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Another one of those "glad Biden won" moments:

https://twitter.com/chrisgeidner/status/...1834685442

Quote:Breaking: DOJ is suing the state of Georgia under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, alleging discrimination against Black voters in the state in its recent voting changes, AG Garland announces.
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It is kind of funny to see Republicans all mad about infrastructure talks when, um, this was said back in April:

https://twitter.com/RepDonBeyer/status/1...2021877764

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Garland moves further on protections for journalists, urging legislation to put subpoenas off limits:

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/06/25...nas-496291
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Biden named a special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ rights:

https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2...btq-rights

Quote:Also on Friday, Biden named Jessica Stern as a special diplomatic envoy at the State Department for LGBTQ rights. Her responsibilities will involve ensuring that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect LGBTQ rights around the world. Stern is currently executive director of OutRight Action International, which defends human rights and works to prevent abuses of LGBTQ people.
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(06-25-2021, 11:27 AM)fuzzy dunlop Wrote: So whats going on with this infrastructure deal?

Seeing that Biden whittled down the bill to next to nothing, to get 10 Republicans on board to support it.  Then he and Pelosi both went on TV and said whatever gets left out of this bill is going into a second bill that they'll pass via reconciliation.  And now those 10 Republicans heard that and, not surprisingly, are getting cold feet on the shittier "bipartisan" bill.

So why announce the second reconciliation bill?  Getting Republicans on record, saying that they support this bipartisan bill, only to have them back out when they find out the administration will still be passing other parts of their legislative agenda is... kinda smart?  Maybe?  It'd be a devastating self-own for Republicans if they actually gave a shit about messaging and helping their constituents, but we know that they don't.

Well, I mean, they're also just being honest. Which I know seems weird for a politician...

But it's just common sense to go for stuff you can get bipartisan support for, then use the reconciliation everyone knows is available.

The only way Republicans could be surprised by any of that would be if they're incredibly stup - 

Oh.
Gamertag: Tweakee
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I guess I don't understand why Democrats are so desperate to keep giving the GOP all these chances. They're wasting time, they're letting Republicans control the negotiations, they're suppressing their own base's enthusiasm. But hey, they got Mitt Romney to say yes to a shittier version of the bill!
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If you say so:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/...d=msedgntp

Quote:Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) believes there is "absolutely" enough support to get President Joe Biden's $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal through Congress.

"I sure believe there is, Jon," Manchin responded to ABC News' This Week host Jonathan Karl on Sunday when asked if he thought the bill was passable. In order for the deal to pass, at least 60 votes are required when it comes to a vote on the Senate floor.

"This is the largest infrastructure package in the history of the United States of America," Manchin said. "And President Biden, there's no doubt in my mind, never has been a doubt in my mind, that he is anxious for this bill to pass and for him to sign it. And I look forward to being there when he does. I can tell you there's so much good being done."

He added: "It has got more in there for clean infrastructure, clean technology, clean energy technology than ever before, more money for bridges and roads since the interstate system was built, water, getting rid of our lead pipes. It's connecting in broadband all over the nation, and especially in rural America, in rural West Virginia. So much good in this, Jon."

Support for the infrastructure package has bounced back and forth as negotiations continued. Several GOP senators involved in the bipartisan talks have come out to support the bill after the president mistakenly implied he would veto a bill unless a bigger reconciliation bill came along right after it.

Meanwhile, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders criticized the deal for not having a far enough reach.

"I can't vote for some small subset that, you know, the infrastructure train leaves the station and child care gets left on the platform, green energy gets left on the platform, billionaires don't have to pay, gets left on the platform," Warren said on This Week.

Sanders is working on an infrastructure reconciliation bill that would cost $6 trillion to address a wider net of needs.
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An interesting read on infrastructure talks:

https://prospect.org/politics/washington...ure-bills/

Quote:What got Republicans so angry is that Democrats figured out a way to make the two-stage process successful. And it’s so confounding to them because, for the first time in anyone’s memory, the political system in Washington felt more of a need to cater to its left to win votes than to cater to its right.

.....

That’s an unusual dynamic in Congress to anyone who’s been observing it over the past few decades. Progressives are always the ones that get jammed, expected to suck it up and take incremental steps rather than the whole loaf. The Affordable Care Act played out that way, with a compromise off single-payer and then another compromise with no public option. Countless spending bills have played out that way, with progressives expected to vote for austerity or harmful riders or whatever else to keep the government funded and avoid a shutdown. The system recognizes the fact that progressives generally like to pass things and have government work, and will seek out the slightest sliver of progress to justify moving forward.

Yet that was not the case here. Progressives staked out a position, and the leadership knew that position was strong enough to sink the bill. So they had to cater to the left, and it wasn’t enough to give private assurances. They had to be loud and public.

Everyone, including Republicans, knows this is happening; even the walk-back acknowledges the process will be exactly the same. It’s just confusing to see it play out. The left doesn’t set the terms of the agenda as a general rule. That rule has been broken.

But it hasn’t been fully broken, and there’s one more bit of work for progressives. The fact sheet on the bipartisan bill still includes privatization schemes as one of the revenue-raisers. That means that old infrastructure will be sold off to pay for new infrastructure, and that private financiers will be given concessions to run common assets for decades. Wall Street is salivating over this idea, seeing it as their “big wish granted.” Trump unsuccessfully sought this, and Biden is close to succeeding. This could lead to sales of the Tennessee Valley Authority, Washington Dulles International Airport, and much more.

A leaked breakdown of the revenue side states that $100 billion would be put toward privatization, which means that the sell-offs and concessions would generate that much revenue, which private companies would make back plus profit by charging users. It’s inarguable that this violates Biden’s vow to not raise taxes on people making under $400,000 a year. Privatization merely substitutes public tax collection for private tax collection, through toll roads or increased rates on privatized water systems. The taxation is typically more burdensome, and it absolutely falls on the non-rich. Beyond that, democratic control is handed over to the private sector on the infrastructure we use every day.
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The Biden administration announced its plan to remove the Hyde Amendment restriction from government spending bills;

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/...d=msedgntp

Quote:The announcement has long been anticipated: President Biden pledged to repeal the Hyde Amendments during his campaign. The Hyde Amendment, originally instated in 1976, bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortion except in cases where the woman's life is at risk, or if the pregnancy is a result of incest or rape. This means that many pregnant people, especially those on Medicaid (Medicaid provides coverage to 1 in 5 women of reproductive age), have limited or no reasonable access to care: Approximately one-quarter of women who would have Medicaid-funded abortions instead give birth when this funding is unavailable. We know that the Hyde Amendment exacerbates racial disparities and that it disproportionally impacts women of color's access to care.

Though many Republican leaders are expected to fight the notion in budget negotiations, the removal of Hyde remains an important step in protecting the reproductive rights of people in the U.S., and making abortion access more equitable.
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Attorney General Garland halts federal executions, orders review of procedures after unprecedented run in Trump era:

https://news.yahoo.com/attorney-general-...52490.html

Quote:Attorney General Merrick Garland Thursday ordered a moratorium on federal executions to allow for a Justice Department review of death penalty policy.

“The Department of Justice must ensure that everyone in the federal criminal justice system is not only afforded the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States, but is also treated fairly and humanely,” Garland said in a memorandum. “That obligation has special force in capital cases.”

Garland's action comes after the Justice Department in 2019 ordered a revival of federal executions by lethal injection, using a powerful one-drug protocol.

The change paved the way for 13 executions between July 2020 and January 2021.
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Biden will be finalizing an end to surprise medical bills:

https://news.yahoo.com/surprise-medical-...32658.html

Quote:The Biden administration is expected to take its first steps Thursday toward finalizing the details of a ban on surprise medical bills that Congress passed and former President Donald Trump signed into law last winter. Some experts see the policy as the most important consumer protection in health care to come out of Washington in more than a decade.

Surprise medical bills happen when a doctor or other provider who is not in a patient’s insurance network is unexpectedly involved in a patient’s care. Patients may go to a hospital that accepts their insurance, for example, but get treatment from emergency room physicians or anesthesiologists who do not — and who then send patients big bills directly.

Surprise billing had been widely seen, by academics and legislators, as one of the most exasperating common practices in medicine. Millions of Americans receive these type of bills each year, with as many as 1 in 5 emergency room visits resulting in such a charge. The new law effectively bans the practice.

“This law represents the single greatest patient protection since Obamacare,” said Adam Buckalew, who worked as a Republican staffer on the committees that wrote the bill in both the House and the Senate. “And it’s solidly bipartisan.”
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Changes at the FTC:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/...d=msedgntp

Quote:The Federal Trade Commission's first meeting under new Chair Lina Khan broke decades of precedent Thursday by taking place in public — something unheard-of for the notably secretive antitrust and consumer protection agency.

Then it pushed through a series of actions on progressive Democrats' wish list: Fines for companies that lie about products being "Made in America." Greater latitude for launching antitrust probes and lawsuits. And a wider door to writing new regulations — something else the FTC hasn't done much of in decades.

All this came despite fierce objections from the commission's two Republicans, in a sign that partisan rancor is also back in vogue at the Biden-era FTC.

Thursday's videoconferenced session was the first public glimpse of what may lie in store for the 106-year-old agency under its youngest-ever chair, a former Columbia University law professor who made her reputation as a critic of tech giants like Amazon. And fellow tech critics were particularly thrilled.

“More progress was made today than in the last quarter-century,” said Jeff Chester, of the watchdog group Center for Digital Democracy, who has done work before the FTC since the 1990s. "Its very, very important and it’s unlike anything I’ve seen at the FTC."
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The job numbers are in:

https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1410940931814068227

Quote:Breaking News: U.S. employers added 850,000 workers in June, a strong sign that the labor market’s recovery is gaining momentum.
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And how many of those jobs provide a livable wage?
"God moves in mysterious ways," they said. Maybe he is on your side, the way it all worked out. Remembering other Christmases, wishing for something, something important, something special. And this is it, baby boy Frankie Bono. You're alone now. All alone. The scream is dead. There's no pain. You're home again, back in the cold, black silence
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