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Breaking: Ted Cruz’s Antics Just Let Democrats Confirm An Anti-Gun Violence Surgeon General

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After the Ebola crisis, and after a year of waiting, it took an attempt by Ted Cruz to derail a bill on Friday to allow the Senate to confirm a Surgeon General.

Meet Vivek Murthy. He is pre-eminently qualified to be America’s Surgeon General. Co-founder of Doctors for America and VISIONS, an HIV/AIDS non-profit, Murthy graduated magna cum laude from Harvard – in three years. He has an M.D. and an M.B.A. from Yale, and has a practice in Boston, where he is a physician at the prestigious Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Dr. Murthy was nominated by President Obama in November of 2013. He was endorsed by two prior Surgeon Generals, and more than 100 medical groups.

What held up a Senate vote for the past 13 months?

This:

Yes, a two-year old tweet.

Dr. Murthy, like many Americas, see the deaths of 83 people each and every day from guns, and the 140 who go to the hospital each and every day for a gun wound, to be a “health care issue.”

Many would classify it as far more severe.

But because of that tweet, the NRA was able to block a vote on a Surgeon General for America.

NRA spokesperson Andrew Arulanandan told Talking Points Memo today, ahead of the vote, that its “position hasn’t changed. America’s next surgeon general should not be a political operative whose professional inexperience has been a source of bipartisan concern.”

Murthy was confirmed by what is in confirmations a slim margin: 51-43.

How did Sen. Ted Cruz open the door – totally unintentionally – to allow a vote on Murthy? Here’s how Talking Points Memo explained it.

It began on Friday evening, when Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) were close to securing an agreement to quickly vote on the $1.1 trillion “CRomnibus” spending bill to avert a government shutdown. Cruz, along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), blindsided Republican leaders by objecting and dragging out the process as they demanded a vote to defund Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

What Cruz didn’t count on was Reid instead seizing on the occasion — which forced the Senate to stay in session for procedural votes — to move forward with starting the confirmation vote clock on a whopping 24 Obama nominations that otherwise might have been jettisoned. The Texan’s tactic angered numerous Republican colleagues.

“I think most Republicans think that Christmas came early for Democrats,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, according to Roll Call, blaming Cruz. “I haven’t seen Harry smile this much in years, and I didn’t particularly like it.”

GOP U.S. Senator from Wyoming, John Barrasso said, “Americans don’t want a surgeon general who might use this position of trust to promote his own personal campaign against the Second Amendment of the Constitution.” 

After today’s vote, President Obama had optimistic words.

“I applaud the Senate for confirming Vivek Murthy to be our country’s next Surgeon General,” the President said in a statement. “As ‘America’s Doctor,’ Vivek will hit the ground running to make sure every American has the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe.  He’ll bring his lifetime of experience promoting public health to bear on priorities ranging from stopping new diseases to helping our kids grow up healthy and strong.  Vivek will also help us build on the progress we’ve made combatting Ebola, both in our country and at its source.  Combined with the crucial support for fighting Ebola included in the bill to fund our government next year, Vivek’s confirmation makes us better positioned to save lives around the world and protect the American people here at home.”

No word from Ted Cruz.

 

Image via Facebook
Vivek Murthy bio information via Wikipedia

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘A Bunch of New Yorkers in Addition to George Soros’: Greg Abbott Accused of Antisemitism

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Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott is facing a challenging re-election fight against Beto O’Rourke, the popular and charismatic former U.S,. Congressman and Democratic presidential candidate who is now his party’s gubernatorial nominee.

Texas voters have had to face mismanagement of the state’s electric grid, with hundreds of Texans dying in winter after the snowstorm that sent Senator Ted Cruz to Cancun, the horrific elementary school mass shooting in Uvalde, and Abbott spending millions of taxpayer dollars on anti-immigrant programs, including bussing migrants to Democratic-controlled cities like Washington, D.C. and New York City. Not to mention his support of the vigilante abortion ban and a “Don’t Say Gay” bill, his failed promise to end rape, and the fact that Texas leads the nation in mass shootings.

But none of that has stopped the 64-year old from doubling down on his conservative bonafides.

READ MORE: ‘Ghoulish’ Greg Abbott Slammed as a ‘Monster’ for ‘Inhumane’ Response to Deaths of 50 People Locked in Tractor-Trailer

On Wednesday over at Fox News, Abbott engaged in what many are calling some old-fashioned antisemitism.

“We will explain to our fellow Texans that the Beto campaign is being aided by a bunch of New Yorkers in addition to George Soros, and that will do nothing but harm his campaign,” Abbott told Fox News host Harris Faulkner.

George Soros, who is Jewish, is a Democratic philanthropist and one of the liberals most-hated by the right, in large part because he funds left wing causes.

READ MORE:Watch: Video of Beto O’Rourke Confronting Texas GOP Governor and Lt. Gov. Goes Viral

He also donated $1 million to help elect O’Rourke governor.

Two weeks ago polls showed O’Rourke gaining ground, striking with five points of his entrenched Texas Republican rival.

And now Abbott is being blasted for what many are calling antisemitism over his Soros statement.

“In this context, ‘New Yorkers’ and ‘George Soros’ are both signifiers for the alleged Jewish elite who supposedly control the world. Abbott is peddling antisemitic conspiracy theory rhetoric,” says writer and human rights activist Leah McElrath.

READ MORE: Beto O’Rourke Video on NFL Player Protests Goes Viral – Republican Compares Him to RFK

“When they say ‘Soros’ and ‘New Yorkers,’ they mean Jews,” notes freelance writer Henry Schulman. “It’s an old dog whistle and a code all the Trump-humping Nazis and their sympathizers understand. So add a new adjective besides ‘fascist’ in front of Abbott’s name. It’s ‘anti-Semitic fascist.'”

Others were even more direct.

“Just say Jews you coward,” tweeted a columnist for The Forward, Alex גדעון בן װעלװל.

“‘The bespectacled, bagel-eating, gefilte fish-slurping, globalist intelligentsia from the Upper West Side’ is what he’s trying to say, although the specifics of who that is maddeningly unclear,” mocked Aki Pertiz, an intel and national security expert. “Also, doesn’t Soros live in NY state? Why single him out hmmmmm.”

Former Chicago Tribune editor Mark Jacob explains: “Right-wing code is pretty simple. ‘New York’ and ‘Soros’ = Jewish. ‘Chicago’ = Black people.”

Former Governor of Vermont, DNC Chair, and 2004 presidential nominee Howard Dean blasted Abbott, comparing him to the Hungarian dictator and, some say, fascist.

“Abbott has become just another GOP whack job. He sounds like victor Orban,” Dean wrote.

 

 

 

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‘Same Answer’: Trump Sat Across From the NY Attorney General and Pleaded the Fifth to Each Question For About 5 Hours

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Donald Trump arrived at the New York Attorney General’s Office early Wednesday morning, around 9 AM. At 10:04 AM posted to his Truth Social account was a lengthy statement that says, “under the advice of my counsel and for all of the above reasons, I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen.”

Trump was finally forced to appear after a subpoena ordering him to give a deposition on January 7 in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into his real estate pricing practices. Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen told Congress in 2019 his former boss would increase what he claimed his properties are worth when attempting to arrange credit and decrease their value for tax purposes.

The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell reported Trump “departed 28 Liberty at 3:20pm slumped in a black Secret Service SUV and peered out of the rear window as his motorcade crawled out of an underground garage past onlookers.”

READ MORE: Legal Experts: ‘Case Against Trump Became Immeasurably Stronger’ After He Says He Pleaded the Fifth

At 3:42 PM Trump posted: “Just leaving the Attorney General’s Office – A very professional meeting.”

The New York Times reports “Trump and James sat across from each other for hours as he said ‘same answer’ again and again.”

Trump “read a statement into the record in which he called the inquiry a continuation of ‘the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country’ and accused Ms. James of having ‘openly campaigned on a policy of destroying me.'”

READ MORE: Experts Call on Trump to Release Search Warrant and Inventory List as His Supporters Talk of ‘Civil War’

That statement is similar to the one posted to his Truth Social account.

Trump’s attorney, Ronald P. Fischetti, “said that over the course of about four hours, with several breaks, Mr. Trump answered only one question, about his name, toward the beginning of the interview.”

That statement Trump posted Wednesday morning attempted to merge the FBI’s Monday raid on his Mar-a-Lago home with his appearance for sworn testimony in a very different case.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Dem Congressman Posts Horrific Audio of Violent Death Threat Against Him and His Family by Caller Praising ‘Trump 2024’

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Democratic U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California on Wednesday posted audio of a violent death threat against him and his family. The Congressman is married and the couple have three children. The speaker in the audio also calls for “all Democrats” to be killed, and ends with a call for “Trump 2024.”

Swalwell is a popular target for the right. He is a former candidate for president, a very visible member of the Democratic Party, and is the Co-Chair of the House Democratic Steering Committee.

The audio is profane and gruesome. In it, a male voice can be heard hoping for decapitations of the Congressman, his wife, and their children. The language is graphic.

READ MORE: House Republicans Visited Trump After FBI Raid to Urge Him to Announce Run for President

The voice also references President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, using horrifically racist slurs, along with Back Lives Matter, immigrants, and Democrats in general.

It also attacks the state of California and Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, and then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

It ends with a repeated call of “Trump 2024!”

The audio is nearly two minutes long but appears to have been edited, with at least the beginning cut off.

READ MORE: Experts Call on Trump to Release Search Warrant and Inventory List as His Supporters Talk of ‘Civil War’

“LISTEN to this death threat against my children,” Swalwell urges. “Since the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, Trump, McCarthy, and MAGA Republicans are stoking violent rhetoric against lawmakers and law enforcement. Someone is going to get killed.”

In 2019 Swalwell also posted  a death threat he received. Fox News’ Tomi Lahren mocked him on social media.

NCRM has opted to not embed the audio but it can be heard here.

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