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Veteran’s Day: Jim DeMint Is The One Percent Who Voted Against Veterans

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Republican Senator Jim DeMint, as Rachel Maddow said Thursday evening, “has a frigging problem,” and is the one percent in the United State Senate who voted against a jobs bill for veterans. The Senate Thursday voted on the “Vow to Hire Heroes” bill, which offers a tax credit to businesses, helps vets get jobs, doesn’t add to the deficit, and, as Maddow proclaimed, it’s “the least-controversial bill ever,” that’s even “good for our souls.”

Senator Jim DeMint is the only Senator who voted against it, saying it was “inherently unfair,” not to veterans, but to America.

“We’re pandering to different political groups with programs that have proven to be ineffective,” DeMint said on the Senate floor, the Beaufort Gazette reported. “All Americans deserve the same opportunity to get hired. I cannot support this tax credit because I do not believe the government should privilege one American over another when it comes to work.”

So, exactly when should the government “privilege one American over another,” Senator? I’m finding it hard to think of a group more deserving, and a situation more necessary.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

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Transcript via MSNBC:

>>> veterans day is tomorrow. which sort of makes this veterans week. and on this veterans day, veterans week, spare a particular thought for republican senator jim demint of south carolina. not because he’s a veteran. i don’t think that he is. but because rather jim demint apparently has a frigging problem. today on capitol hill there was a vote on a hiring bill for our nation’s veterans. right now our national unemployment rate’s about 9% for iraq and afghanistan veterans. it is 12.1%. which is both miserable and sort of astonishing because iraq and afghanistan veterans are a ferociously competent group of americans. they have spent the last decade doing incredibly difficult, complex, exhausting, tireless, underappreciated work. i’m not being romantic about this. i mean it in practical terms. this is an impressive, professional class of americans with a lot to offer. they really did do more before 9:00 a.m. than most of us did all day. and they did it all decade long, and they are still doing it. for us as a country our iraq and afghanistan vets are a huge asset. if you are hiring people at your company, you should be looking for them for hiring. that said, they have trouble in the job 345rk9 in part because while the people they’re competing against for jobs have been working here veterans have been working and great experience but they have been doing it out of sight and out of mind in, say, landlocked central asia. so they are this very impressive group. they are underperforming in the job market. and we know why. and oh, by the way, we do kind of owe them as a country. and so today the world’s least controversial bill came before the senate, the vow to hire heroes act of 2011. a tax credit for businesses to hire new veterans. congress is debating all sorts of different tax credits to hire people. this one is to hire veterans. and it does not even add to the deficit. they moved money around from other veterans programs to pay for this one. this is in the running for least cop troshl thing in washington. it is good for the economy. it is good for our souls quite frankly. it is practically helpful to people who need practical help in a way that also helps all the rest of us too because it is a jobs program. the vote on this thing today was 94-1. the bill passed 94-1. the 1 was senator jim demint. why is senator jim demint against this? is it some cockamamie jim demint tea party fetishistic states’ rights idea about gold bullion or something? no, not in this case. it wasn’t anything like this. jim demint’s reasoning for voting against this was that veterans don’t deserve it.

>> i cannot support this tax credit because i do not believe the government should privilege one american over another when it comes to work.

>> yeah, those greedy veterans, wanting all this special treatment. greedy veterans expecting everything to be handed to them. yeah, happy veterans day, senator demint. i would salute you, but the way i want you is not something that’s allowed on television. it almost makes me want to sit on my hands. the veterans bill, aside from the blistering astonishment that is jim demint, is an example of things sort of secretly actually getting done in d.c. right now. here’s another example. yesterday the fcc announced that the nation’s biggest cable companies will start offering high-speed internet service to low-income families for the reduced price of $9.95 a month. any family that has a kid who qualifies for the free school lunch program will be eligible to get broadband internet service that they otherwise probably would not be able to afford. this is a real concrete step. it is connecting the poorest americans to the 21st century economic backbone of our country. so this week alone, veterans jobs bill, check. minus jim demint. broadband internet for low-income families, check. here’s one more. putting people back to work building roads and bridges. check. maybe? yeah. one of the other secret things that took a giant step forward toward getting done this week was a long-term infrastructure bill to fund highway projects across the country. yesterday the senate environment and public works committee advanced the highway bill by a unanimous vote of 18-0. every single democrat and every single republican voted for this infrastructure bill. i feel like i’m jinxing it by even reporting on it. listen in the hearing room. this is a quick clip. listen to what it sounded like right after they took the vote in that committee yesterday. here’s what happened right afterwards until they turned the mikes off.

>> the bill as amended is reported favorably to the united states senate. my thanks to everyone. we stand adjourned.

>> okay.

>> oh, my.

>> we did it.

>> okay, we did it. oh, my. i think what we just heard democratic senator barbara boxer saying there before the mike was cut out was “oh, my god, we did it.” oh, my god, is this really happening? joining us is chris hayes, host of msnbc’s excellent new weekend show called “up with chris hayes.” chris, it’s great to see you.

>> it’s great to see you, rachel.

>> do i have the soft bigotry of low expectations? am i applauding things that —

>> you need to come in and rain on the parade. no, i thought the senate– i thought there was a sort of vestigial senatorial functionality that we saw in those two bills you mentioned. the fact that mcconnell put out a good press release on it. this is the kind of thing that as you said is non-controversial, it’s almost sxrunt pramt routine and pramtic. it’s the kind of thing that the senate and the house should be able to come together and do. and we have been in such a horribly dysfunctional knot since the 2010 mid-terms they ha haven’t been able to do it. i think there’s something about that and the bill getting out of the senate. the other part of the story, the highway bill, is the house has its own version of the highway bill which does not reconcile very well with the senate version of the highway bill and spends a lot less money and the house is really where the kind of stopping gap is right now. there are things you can get in the senate with the democratic majority and with the sort of vestigial kind of collegiality. it’s the house i think that’s the really worrisome roadblock right now.

>> that said, when we had just an infrastructure bill put forward by senator amy cloeb shar, who is not known for her partisan legislating at all, put forward with joe manchin, who is maybe one of the most conservative democrats, definitely one of the most conservative democrats in the senate last week, ben nelson and joe lieberman voted against it and republicans were able to successfully filibuster it. but now we’re able to see some more roads and bridges stuff move forward in another way. so why do we get to move forward on the highway bill and we don’t get to move forward on the one that’s attached to president obama’s jobs bill?

>> well, i think implied in your question is the fact that it is clearly the case that — it’s a little like groundhog day reporting on it, right? because every day the republicans come in and every day they want to block what the president is doing. in fact, the veterans bill had to be so non-controversial that it could pass 94-1. and that’s the threshold? you know? things can either pass 94-1, you’re naming a post office, you’re giving tax save togz veterans, or they can get blocked. it’s those two options. there’s nothing in the middle. there’s nothing in this current political terrain that can pass by a five vote margin or vix-vote margin or two-vote margin in the senate. because the habitual use of the filibuster and the political commitment on the part of the minority caucus to politically destroy the president in the run-up to the election is so strong it means going after everything the president has his name attached to.

>> even in that environment do you have a veterans day wish for senator demint?

>> veterans day wish for senator demint. i will say is this to senator demint. it was — he displayed a genuine fidelity to his cockamamie principles.

>> what principles? if he’d come one some crazy tenth amendment like gold standard, like we shouldn’t legally elect senators thing, fine. but veterans don’t deserve it? really, jim? really?

>> but here’s the thing. look, the argument that that part of the republican caucus is making and that is clearly taking over the republican caucus is that everything is distorti distortion. and so when you come to view every single thing the government does as distortion, as some sort of pure and natural state of the market, then it’s very easy to view a tax credit to hire veterans as a distortion, as something unnatural, as opposed to the thing that is unnatural, being the 12% unemployment rate of veterans themselves. and that exactly is the kind of through the looking glass perspective that i think we see broadly from the base of the republican party and the most ideological members, is that the crisis we are in right now, the crisis of joblessness, the crisis of unemployment and foreclosures and personal bankruptcies is the natural state and the interventions to change them and fix them is unnatural.

>> is unnatural and — is unnatural and should not even be evaluated on its merits because —

>> because it is ideologically offensive.

>> well, i will just say, jim, if anybody runs into jim demint at a veterans day parade, please tell him hi for me. chris hayes, host of “up with chris hayes,” which you really are doing great work. i knew you would, but you are doing great work. the show is so good.

>> it means so much to me.

>> thanks, chris, appreciate it. spinal tap still ahead. and rick perry’s amazing brain freeze. and what’s important about it. and what to do with that pesky 30-foot crack in your nuclear reactor, ohio. that’s all

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News

‘Repercussions’: Democrats and Republicans Stand Against ‘Pro-Putin’ House GOP Faction

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Some House Democrats and House Republicans are coming together toward a common opponent: far-right “pro-Putin” hardliners in the House Republican conference, who appear to be led by U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

Congresswoman Greene has been threatening to oust the Republican Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson. Last month she filed a “motion to vacate the chair.” If she chooses to call it up she could force a vote on the House floor to try to remove Speaker Johnson.

House Democrats say they are willing to vote against ousting Johnson, as long as the Speaker puts on the floor desperately needed and long-awaited legislation to fund aid to Ukraine and Israel. Johnson has refused to put the Ukraine aid bill on the floor for months, but after Iran attacked Israel Johnson switched gears. Almost all Democrats and a seemingly large number of Republicans want to pass the Ukraine and Israel aid packages.

RELATED: Marjorie Taylor Greene, ‘Putin’s Envoy’? Democrat’s Bills Mock Republican’s Actions

Forgoing the possibility of installing Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries as Speaker, which is conceivable given Johnson’s now one-vote majority, Democrats say if Johnson does the right thing, they will throw him their support.

“I think he’ll be in good shape,” to get Democrats to support him, if he puts the Ukraine aid bill on the floor, U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) told CNN Thursday. “I would say that there’s a lot of support for the underlying bills. I think those are vital.”

“If these bills were delivered favorably, and the aid was favorably voted upon, and Marjorie Taylor Greene went up there with a motion to remove him, for instance, I think there’s gonna be a lot of Democrats that move to kill that motion,” Congressman Krishnamoorthi said. “They don’t want to see him getting punished for doing the right thing.”

“I think it is a very bad policy of the House to allow one individual such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is an arsonist to this House of Representatives,” U.S. Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY) told CBS News’ Scott MacFarlane, when asked about intervening to save Johnson. He added he doesn’t want her “to have so much influence.”

U.S. Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, one of several Republicans who won their New York districts in 2022, districts that were previously held by Democrats, opposes Greene’s motion to vacate – although he praised the Georgia GOP congresswoman.

CNN’s Manu Raju reports Republicans “say it’s time to marginalize hardliners blocking [their] agenda.”

D’Esposito, speaking to Raju, called for “repercussions for those who completely alienate the will of the conference. The people gave us the majority because they wanted Republicans to govern.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Lawler, like D’Esposito is another New York Republican who won a previously Democratic seat in 2022. Lawler spoke out against the co-sponsor of Greene’s motion to vacate, U.S. Rep. Tim Massie (R-KY), along with two other House Republicans who are working to block the Ukraine aid bill via their powerful seats on the Rules Committee.

U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), a former Navy pilot, blasted Congresswoman Greene.

RELATED: ‘They Want Russia to Win So Badly’: GOP Congressman Blasts Far-Right House Republicans

“Time is of the essence” for Ukraine, Rep. Sherrill told CNN Wednesday night. “The least we can do is support our Democratic allies, especially given what we know Putin to do. To watch a report and to think there are people like Marjorie Taylor Greene on the right that are pro-Putin? That are pro-Russia? It is really shocking.”

U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), as NCRM reported Thursday, had denounced Greene.

“I guess their reasoning is they want Russia to win so badly that they want to oust the Speaker over it,” he said, referring to the Ukraine aid bill Greene and her cohorts want to tank. “I mean that’s a strange position to take.”

The far-right hardliners are also causing chaos in the House.

“Things just got very heated on the House floor,” NBC News’ Julie Tsirkin reported earlier Thursday. “Group of hardliners were trying to pressure Johnson to only put Israel aid on the floor and hold Ukraine aid until the Senate passed HR2.”

HR2 is the House Republicans’ extremist anti-immigrant legislation that has n o chance of passage in the Senate nor would it be signed into law by President Biden.

“Johnson said he couldn’t do it, and [U.S. Rep. Derrick] Van Orden,” a far-right Republican from Wisconsin “called him ‘tubby’ and vowed to bring on the MTV [Motion to Vacate.]”

“No one in the group (Gaetz, Boebert, Burchett, Higgins, Donalds et al.) were threatening Johnson with an MTV,” Tsirkin added. “Van Orden seemed to escalate things dramatically…”

Despite Greene’s pro-Putin and anti-Ukraine positions, her falsehoods about “Ukrainian Nazis,” and Russians not slaughtering Ukrainian clergy, reporters continue to “swarm”:

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Afraid and Intimidated’: Trump Trial Juror Targeted by Fox News Dismissed

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‘They Want Russia to Win So Badly’: GOP Congressman Blasts Far-Right House Republicans

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A sitting Republican Congressman is harshly criticizing far-right House Republicans over their apparent support of Russia.

“I guess their reasoning is they want Russia to win so badly that they want to oust the Speaker over it. I mean that’s a strange position to take,” U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a three-term Texas Republican rated a hard-core conservative told CNN’s Manu Raju, in video posted Thursday. “I think they want to be in the minority too. I think that’s an obvious reality.”

Congressman Crenshaw was referring to the movement led by U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), now joined by U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), over the Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson’s decision to finally put legislation on the floor to provide funding to Ukraine to support that sovereign nation in its fight against Russia.

“I’m still trying to process all the b*llsh*t,” Crenshaw added.

Crenshaw on Thursday also commented on Speaker Johnson’s remarks, stating he will hold the Ukraine funding vote regardless of attempts to oust him over it.

“To be clear, he’s being threatened for even allowing a vote to come to the floor. For allowing the constitutional process to play out as intended by our Founders. That’s a wild thing to consider, especially when his enemies consider themselves ‘conservative.’ Not conserving the painstaking constitutional process our Founders created, that’s for sure. Conserving Putin’s gains on the battlefield, more like it.”

Journalist Brian Beutler, a former editor-in-chief at Crooked Media, called it, “darkly funny to me that a pincer movement of MAGAns and leftists mock liberals for claiming the GOP works hand in glove with Russia, and then multiple conservative Republican dissenters are like ‘no it’s true, we’re lousy with Russian influence.'”

Watch Crenshaw’s remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: Marjorie Taylor Greene, ‘Putin’s Envoy’? Democrat’s Bills Mock Republican’s Actions

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OPINION

Marjorie Taylor Greene, ‘Putin’s Envoy’? Democrat’s Bills Mock Republican’s Actions

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For years U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has been called “Pro-Putin.” As far back as 2021, her first year as a member of Congress, the question had been raised on social media: “Is Marjorie Taylor Greene a Russian asset?

In 2022 The Annenberg Public Policy Center’s FactCheck.org reported: “Marjorie Taylor Greene Parrots Russian Talking Point on Ukraine.”

Back then, as the article highlighted, Greene had said, “there is no doubt that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s actions in Ukraine are despicable and evil.”

Now, she promotes a far more favorable view of President Vladimir Putin and his illegal war against Ukraine, a sovereign nation which the Russian autocrat wants to incorporate – at least partly – into Russia.

Just last week Greene spread demonstrably false pro-Russia talking points about a “war on Christianity” while defending and promoting President Vladimir Putin.

READ MORE: ‘Afraid and Intimidated’: Trump Trial Juror Targeted by Fox News Dismissed

“This is a war on Christianity,” Greene told far-right propagandist Steve Bannon. “The Ukrainian government is attacking Christians, the Ukrainian government is executing priests. Russia is not doing that.”

That’s just plain false, as NCRM reported.

Largely in response to her strong opposition to the U.S. supporting Ukraine, and her spreading Russian disinformation and flat-out pro-Putin falsehoods, Greene’s fondness for Putin and Russia has been making headlines.

“Republicans Who Like Putin,” was the headline last month at The New York Times, which observed: “A few Republicans have gone so far as [to] speak about Ukraine and its president, Volodymyr Zelensky, in ways that mimic Russian propaganda. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has accused Ukraine of having ‘a Nazi army,’ echoing language Putin used to justify the invasion.”

“The Putin Republicans Have the Upper Hand” warned Washington Monthly‘s David Atkins on Wednesday, reporting on “conservative extremists led by Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.”

“They admire the strongman as a Christian nationalist leader, and won’t support Ukraine. The global consequences of their besotted love affair with the Russian strongman could be cataclysmic.”

“Russia Is Buying Politicians in Europe. Is It Happening Here Too?” The New Republic‘s Alex Finley wrote last week. The photo at the top of the page? Marjorie Taylor Greene.

READ MORE: ‘Used by the Russians’: Moskowitz Mocks Comer’s Biden Impeachment Failure

Finley pointed to Greene’s interview with Bannon, “about Ukraine’s persecution of Christians, which is a Kremlin talking point aimed at boosting the pro-Moscow wing of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church. The U.S. should be spending money on the border with Mexico, not on Ukraine aid? That’s a Kremlin talking point. Russia invaded Ukraine to defend itself against an expanding NATO? That’s a Kremlin talking point. Call for a cease-fire, and give Russia Crimea and eastern Ukraine? That’s a Kremlin talking point.”

Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post last week ran this headline: “Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she ‘seriously hates’ people who support sending more aid to Ukraine: ‘Most repulsive, disgusting thing happening’.”

Then there is Greene’s obsession with Nazis. Specifically, equating Ukrainians with Nazis, which she did several times over the past week, including on Wednesday. That earned her the condemnation and wrath of U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), who demanded: “Stop bringing up Nazis and Hitler.”

Wednesday night, Congressman Moskowitz, known for his use of humor and sarcasm to make his points, declared: “Just submitted an amendment to Bill drafting appointing MTG [Marjorie Taylor Greene] as Putin’s Special Envoy to the United States Congress.”

Moskowitz’s amendment was in response to Congresswoman Greene’s amendments requiring members to “conscript in the Ukrainian military” if they vote for the Ukraine military funding bill, as Juliegrace Brufke reported.

READ MORE: ‘Big Journalism Fail’: Mainstream Media Blasted Over Coverage of Historic Trump Trial

The Florida Democrat wasn’t joking, as Axios’ Andrew Solender pointed out Thursday morning.

Moskowitz did not stop there.

He drafted legislation on Thursday to name the Capitol Hill offices occupied by Congresswoman Greene after the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, infamous for promoting appeasement in dealing with Adolf Hitler.

Chamberlain also signed the Munich Agreement, which allowed Hitler to annex part of Czechoslovakia.

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