‘We Have No Idea Whatâ€™s Being Proposed. Thereâ€™s a Group of Guys in a Back Room Somewhere That Are Making These Decisions.’
Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill blasted the Republican Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Thursday, charging Republicans with working to secretly draft and pass their ObamaCare repeal bill. She decimated Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) for refusing to allow any Democratic input or amendments to the legislation, and for refusing to even hold any hearings before pushing it to the floor with the goal of passing it with “50 votes and the vice president.”
McCaskill, a centrist Democrat from Missouri and former prosecutor, opened by asking Chairman Hatch, “will we have a hearing on the health care proposal?”
“I think we’ve already had one,” Hatch curiously responded.Â
McCaskill corrected the senior Senator from Utah, saying she was referring to the bill the Republican Senate is drafting in response to the House’s TrumpCare legislation that passed last month.
Hatch, pausingÂ and seemingly confused, was forced to have an aide step up to the dais and whisper in his ear a response for him to share. She clearly could be heard in his microphone, and he repeated much of what she offered.
Acting as if he had not just been told what to say, Hatch,Â the longest-serving Republican Senator in U.S. history, told McCaskill, “I don’t know if there’s going to be another hearing but we’veÂ invited you to participate and give your ideas.”
That is false, and McCaskill took the opportunity to make clear just how offensive his claim is.
“No, no, thatâ€™s not true, Mr. Chairman. Let me just say, I watched carefully all of the hearings that went on on the Affordable Care Act. I was not a member of this committee at the time, although I would have liked to be,” Sen. McCaskill told the Chairman. “Senator Grassley was the ranking member. Dozens of Republican amendments were offered and accepted in that hearing process. And when you say that youâ€™re ‘inviting us’ â€” and I heard you, Mr. Secretary, just say weâ€™d love your support â€” for what?”
“We donâ€™t even know! We have no idea whatâ€™s being proposed. Thereâ€™s a group of guys in a back room somewhere that are making these decisions. There were no hearings in the House.”
“I mean, listen, this is hard to take,” the three-term senior Senator from Missouri continued, acknowledging Democrats “made mistakes” in working on the ObamaCare bill.
“One of the criticisms we got over and over again that the vote was partisan. Well, you couldnâ€™t have a more partisan exercise than what youâ€™re engaged in right now. Weâ€™re not even going to have a hearing on a bill that impacts one-sixth of our economy,” McCaskill charged. “Weâ€™re not going to have an opportunity to offer a single amendment. It is all being done with an eye to try to get it by with 50 votes and theÂ vice president.”
â€” Senate Democrats (@SenateDems) June 9, 2017
“I am stunned that that’s what Leader [Mitch] McConnell would call ‘regular order,’ which he sanctimoniously said would be the order of the day when the Republicans took the Senate over. We are now so far from regular order the new members don’t even know what it looks like.”
As McCaskill ws speaking, it was clear another Senator was ignoring her, as his voice was picked up on a hot mic.
She concluded by urging the Republicans to give her an opportunity to offer amendments to the bill.
To be clear, as ThinkProgress reports, “Senate Republicans are launching an audacious plan to pass Trumpcare,” noting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “said he is striving to get a vote on the Republican health care bill by July 4, before Congress leaves for August recess. As ludicrous as this deadline seems, the Senate could pull it offâ€Šâ€”â€Šbut it will be done without much public scrutiny.”
Sen. McConnellÂ implemented Senate â€œRule 14â€Â Wednesday to fast-track the GOP House health bill.Â This rule allowsÂ the Senate to skip the committee process (goodbye full senate committee debate) and instead â€œfast-tracksâ€ the bill by moving it on the senate calendar so it can be brought to a vote.
Anyone wanting to protect their health care rights should call their Senators, regardless of the party they are in, to urge them to vote no one the Republican health care bill, known as the American Health Care Act or TrumpCare. You can reach your Senators even if you don’t know their names, by calling the Capitol Hill Switchboard atÂ (202) 224-3121.
Know that calling is the best way to register your comments.Â
To comment on this article and other NCRM content, visit our Facebook page.
Thanks to Daily Kos for the transcript
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‘Doesn’t Get to Tell the County What They Can Read’: Lawmaker Blasts Christian in Viral Video Attacking LGBTQ Library Books
A Tennessee Democratic state lawmaker is responding to a viral video of a Christian woman in her home state railing against “perversion,” apparently upset with LGBTQ-themed books being in a local public library, while ranting about Satan and “revelation prophecies.”
Rep. Gloria Johnson, a retired special ed teacher, blasted the young woman who spoke in the video for about three minutes berating, lecturing, and preaching to her fellow Maury County, Tennessee residents about books she believes the public library should not have.
After introducing herself as “Stephanie” (her last name was not discernible), the young woman in the undated video declares, “I speak on behalf of God Almighty, my husband, the daughter in my womb and every law abiding God fearing taxpaying citizen here in Maury County.”
She admitted she is not from Maury County, but she did feel very comfortable telling Maury County locals what to do and think.
“We moved here from Indiana to start our family,” she said. “I will not raise kids in a county that has sexual oriented books on the counter,” she insisted, later stating, “My taxes pay [for] this place.”
“The kingdom of God is within reach,” Stephanie went on to preach. “It is within here and we live not for heaven but from heaven. What that means is when perversion permeates our county, that is when the devil gets our children. If you don’t see this you are blind. We must understand that there cannot be perversion in this county, in this country. Obviously revelation prophecies are occurring right before our eyes. But what you need to know first and foremost, that obviously the future generation is our children.”
By the end of her lengthy rant she decreed, “God sees everything and by the grace of God, we will rise above this, but I’m not gonna let my children be raised – I’m gonna homeschool, you better believe it. I will not let my children be raised in a county like this. If we’re having sexual oriented books. You can even ask the gay community, a lot of them say why would you want to bring kids to the bars? They already think of pedophilia, why would you want them to come to the bars?”
“Understand that you serve our country second. You serve our God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob first,” she concluded.
She also flew into a false screed straight out of recent Fox News reports.
Saying, “I speak on behalf of millennials my generation,” she claimed, “We already have so many illegal aliens here who are bringing fentanyl they are killing our children, our youth.”
A right-wing think tank, the Cato Institute states: “Fentanyl is primarily trafficked by U.S. citizens.”
Rep. Johnson, who served in the Tennessee state House from 2013-2015, and is again serving, since 2019, also served up strong criticism against the woman in the video.
“She is welcome to monitor the books her children read, but she doesn’t get to tell the rest of the county what they can read,” Johnson tweeted.
Johnson is apparently a strong supporter of public libraries. This was posted to her Facebook page just days ago:
Watch the viral video below or at this link.
A Christian woman in Maury County, Tennessee argues against LGBTQ-themed books at her library and tells everyone they’re going to hell pic.twitter.com/F6McXs8Gs4
— Marjorie Gaylor Queen 🏳️🌈 (@Tim_Tweeted) September 28, 2022
Watchdog Reports Trump ‘Credibly Accused’ of ‘Staggering’ List of 55 Criminal Offenses – Urges DOJ to Prosecute
A nonpartisan federal government watchdog has updated its list of “uncharged” criminal offenses it says Donald Trump stands “credibly accused” of committing, and is urging the Dept. of Justice to prosecute them, warning that “the rule of law is not self-enforcing.”
“As of September 2022, Donald Trump has been credibly accused of committing at least 55 criminal offenses since he launched his campaign for president in 2015,” reports Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, better known as CREW. “That total only reflects allegations relating to his time in or running for office and omits, for instance, Trump’s criminal exposure for fraudulent business dealings.”
The lengthy list includes numerous allegations of campaign finance crimes and coverup, destruction of presidential records, obstruction of the Russia and Special Counsel Investigations, attempts to steal the 2020 election, false public financial disclosure reports, attempts to get Ukraine to interfere in 2020 election, profiting off of post-election lies, and unlawful post-presidency possession of government records.
CREW says its update includes “seven offenses we have added since we published the first version of this table in March 2022,” including “three criminal offenses relating to the investigation of election fraud and related crimes in Fulton County, Georgia; one offense relating to potential wire fraud stemming from fraudulent representations made to solicit PAC contributions after the 2020 election; and three offenses relating to Trump’s unlawful possession of government records at Mar-a-Lago after leaving office.”
“The updated tracker likely understates Trump’s legal exposure because the high volume of sensitive records discovered at Mar-A-Lago suggests that he could be indicted for multiple counts of willfully retaining without authorization government records containing national defense information, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 793(e)), even though it is only listed once on CREW’s tracker.”
CREW is not the only one keeping track of Trump’s misdeeds, criminal civil, or ethical.
McSweeney’s published a list of 1056 “atrocities,” it calls “horrors,” titled: “A Catalog of Trump’s Worst Cruelties, Collusions, Corruptions, and Crimes.” It stopped updating on Jan. 20, 2021.
Civil liberties and national security journalist Marcy Wheeler on Wednesday published her “Trump Document Theft Resources,” a timeline of events surrounding the former president’s unlawful retention and refusal to return classified documents, complete with numerous links.
For those who’ve missed it: I have put together a post with links to all MY posts on the Trump Espionage case, as well as the public docs, statutes, and some other key reports. Not entirely up-to-date and a work in progress, though. https://t.co/1xpy6I5ine
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) September 28, 2022
Christian Nationalist GOP Nominee Doug Mastriano Calling for ‘40 Days of Fasting and Prayer’ to Help Campaign
The far-right Christian nationalist and state lawmaker who is the Republican Party’s nominee to become governor of Pennsylvania is so extreme and has been performing so poorly in the polls it took the media two days to learn of his latest plan to win election: 40 days of fasting and prayer.
State Sen. Doug Mastriano, who led a Zoom meeting days before the January 6 insurrection praying his fellow Trump supporters would “rise up” and overthrow the government, on Monday posted to Facebook a call for “40 Days of Fasting and Prayer.”
To date it has received little attention, a mere 10 comments, 46 shares, and 156 various likes. That’a after one news outlet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, published an article on Mastriano Wednesday afternoon.
“The Republican gubernatorial candidate is losing some support among GOP allies as his cash-strapped campaign turns to Twitter memes and, apparently, divine intervention,” the Inquirer reports.
A mere “few dozen supporters joined the Republican state senator on the steps of the Capitol building in Harrisburg — some of them members of a local militia group,” for campaign rally last weekend, adding that “Mastriano hasn’t run or booked any TV ads in response. He doesn’t do interviews with most media outlets, and won’t agree to a standard format debate.”
Mastriano recently made headlines over previously unreported remarks showing he supports criminal murder charges for women who violate a 6-week abortion ban.
It seems likely Mastriano will lose the election. FiveThirtyEight gives the far right Republican state lawmaker just seven chances in 100 to win the governorship. His opponent, Democrat Josh Shapiro, has spent millions more that Mastriano, who the Inquirer notes has spent just $6300 on TV ads.
Some are highlighting bigger, more longterm concerns, noting that Mastriano is helping to expand the Christian nationalism and fascism his ideologies represent.
Media Matters for America’s Eric Hananoki on Wednesday reveals: “Mastriano announced that he’s holding a rally with Jack Posobiec this weekend. Posobiec has collaborated with white nationalists and neo-Nazis and has targeted Jewish people with antisemitic hate.”
Doug Mastriano announced that he’s holding a rally with Jack Posobiec this weekend. Posobiec has collaborated with white nationalists and neo-Nazis and has targeted Jewish people with antisemitic hate, as the @splcenter has documented. https://t.co/V4xQeohozl
— Eric Hananoki (@ehananoki) September 28, 2022
“Mastriano is a QAnon conspiracy theorist and a January 6 insurrectionist,” Media Matters report adds. “He has also shared toxic commentaries about Muslims; abortion; and gun safety; along with making other inflammatory remarks.”
“He has surrounded himself with numerous extremist media figures in his campaign for Pennsylvania governor. They include: antisemitic Gab CEO Andrew Torba; QAnon and antisemitic conspiracy theorists Allen and Francine Fosdick; “prophet” Julie Green, who has promoted an antisemitic conspiracy theory; and QAnon supporter and 9/11 conspiracy theorist Toni Shuppe. Mastriano also recruited Jenna Ellis, who has a history of anti-LGBTQ remarks and election denialism, as a senior adviser.”
The New York Times last month reported Mastriano “speaks almost exclusively to far-right podcasters like Stephen K. Bannon, conservative talk radio hosts and Fox News. On a recent swing through northwest Pennsylvania, he brushed off a Pittsburgh TV station that sought to interview him, and even the small-circulation Meadville Tribune.“
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