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Tag: republican party

Inflation Is A Global Dilemma -- So Why Does Press Blame Biden?

Reprinted with permission from PressRun

News that U.S. inflation inched up 0.5 percent last month set off another round of excited media reports, as news outlets pounded one of their favorite themes in recent months. Convinced that rising prices are the defining economic issue of the day — not huge job gains, record-setting GDP predictions, or boosted wages — the press continues to portray inflation as a uniquely American problem that’s hounding Democrats.

“President Joe Biden suffered a new blow to his economic agenda this week,” Politico announced, pointing to the new inflation figures. “That prompted the Biden White House to scramble to do damage control in the face of attacks by Republicans.” The Associated Press on Wednesday stressed that inflation is “heaping pressure on President Joe Biden and the Federal Reserve to address what has become the biggest threat to the U.S. economy.”

The New York Times: “A troubling development for President Biden.” The Washington Post headline: “Democrats Worry Biden Could Pay the Political Price For Rising Inflation.” (The first person quoted in the piece was a GOP pollster.)

What’s missing from the inflation coverage is the consistent acknowledgement that the trend of rising prices is a global phenomenon, fueled by the pandemic. The Politico report made no mention of worldwide inflation, neither did the Times or Post dispatches; the AP included just one sentence.

Dismissed or downplayed is the fact that systemic, record-setting inflation has taken hold in virtually every major economy:

• “Germany: Annual Inflation Hits Highest Rate Since 1993

• “Italian Inflation Hits Highest In More Than A Decade On Energy

• “Mexico Ends Year With Inflation At 7.36%, Most In 20 Years

• “Russian 2021 Inflation Accelerates To 8.39%, Preliminary Data Shows

• “Spain's Annual Inflation Jumps To 6.7% At End Of 2021, Highest Since 1989

“UK Inflation Hits 10-Year High Ahead Of Key Bank Of England Meeting

• “Canada's Annual Inflation Rate Matches 18-Year High, Set to Keep Rising"

Thanks to international reporting, we know inflation is on the rise around the world. But news consumers here have to search that information out because it’s rarely included in coverage of the U.S. economy. Most often, domestic inflation is presented in a silo, independent from the global economic trend that has been sparked by a worldwide virus.

Meanwhile, the press eagerly trumpets Republican claims that Biden’s agenda is responsible for inflation, while failing to point out that it wasn’t the infrastructure bill or Covid relief legislation that prompted inflation to jump to 4.7 percent in Canada, 5.1 percent in the U.K and and 6.7 percent in Spain. Inflation is occurring everywhere, so it’s not Biden’s policies that are to blame. The press prefers a more linear narrative, and seems to deliberately leave out the international context. That allows journalists to frame the story as a Dem vs. GOP one, as if policy adjustments from Biden would cure inflation.

Today’s unfortunate economic trend is clearly caused by the pandemic, which warped global supply and demand patterns, creating a mismatch that has driven prices higher. Energy costs and shipping bottlenecks are two major, driving factors. One reason inflation sprouted so quickly in the U.S. is that consumer demand is booming as the economy has recovered from Covid faster and stronger under Biden than most people ever thought possible.

Still, Republicans claim Biden is driving up prices by passing large spending bills. Government spending is bad because it fuels inflation, the GOP claims over and over in the press.

Yet eager Republicans just helped pass a $768 billion defense budget. When Trump was president, Senate Republicans supported pumping trillions of dollars into the economy in order to battle the effects of the pandemic shutdown. The GOP, with help from the press, is still able to frame inflation as a problem Biden created and must be penalized for. The Post: “Republicans argued the new inflation numbers were another sign that Biden’s policies are not working.”

There’s nothing subtle about what the GOP is doing. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) last year told the Wall Street Journal that rising prices were a “gold mine” for Republicans, suggesting the party hopes consumers will continue to have to pay higher prices this year.

The press trumpets that GOP message. Inflation is a “political nightmare for Biden,” CNN recently stressed. The Associated Press, while conceding that consumer spending is way up, claimed inflation was “casting a pall” and that upward prices, not plummeting unemployment, dominated water cooler talk in the U.S. When weekly jobless claims recently fell to a 52-year low, the New York Times ran yet another excited Biden inflation piece on the following day’s front page. News of the historic jobless numbers ran on page B3.

It was no surprise that a recent AP poll found consumers fixated on inflation: “Income Is Up, But Americans Focus on Inflation.” Why is that? Americans are inundated with the media’s constant inflation coverage, most of which omits the fact the trend is now happening all around the world.

Reprinted with permission from PressRun

The Demeaning Of ‘Woke’ -- And The Decline Of Decency In America

Endesha Ida Mae Holland smiled as she recounted the events of the Mississippi voter registration movement for the 1994 documentary Freedom on My Mind. That movement, from 1961 to 1964, was marked by the bravery of activists and the violence meted out by those who felt threatened by the very idea of Black citizens exercising their fundamental rights.

Holland's upbringing as a young African American in Mississippi, her work in the struggle and the retaliation that followed had left her unprepared for her first encounter at a Southern lunch counter following the passage of civil rights laws she fought so hard for. She said that when the clerk politely greeted her, it was so overwhelming and appreciated, she ordered everything on the menu, just to experience the balm of kind words covering her again and again.

At the close of Freedom Summer — only a few years after a Black farmer who tried to register to vote was shot and killed by a Mississippi state representative, who got away with it — respect seemed a triumph to someone whose humanity had been denied for so long.

Remember the phrase "political correctness"? It's not so in vogue these days, mostly because it has outlived its usefulness.

I remember when it was all the rage, an effort to reframe any rude and insensitive lout as a bold rule-breaker. My feelings about all the fuss? Despite protests to the contrary, there was never a prohibition against making rude remarks, no law that punished anyone who chucked racist or misogynistic or homophobic comments toward acquaintances or perfect strangers or who viewed the world through a lens of hardened stereotypes.

Not The First Time

During the heyday of outrage over "political correctness," everyone could — and did — say anything, make any joke, pass ridicule off at wit. And they could feel quite pleased with themselves.

What they couldn't do was escape pushback. The targets spoke up, demanded accountability, sometimes at great danger to themselves.

That was the problem for those who had lived a life without consequences, and wanted that status quo to continue.

I always wondered why anyone would have a desire to offend, would insist on it as a right. To me, it wasn't about being politically correct but about being a decent human being, following the Golden Rule, treating others as you would like to be treated, with consideration.I was happy when the phrase began to vanish, though unfortunately it took a while, until politicians and hucksters (sometimes one and the same) had managed to drain every drop of advantage from it.

But alas, it has been replaced with a word that has come to mean, well, whatever its users want it to mean. Unless you've been asleep, you know what word I'm talking about.

When you break down "woke," it literally means "the past tense of wake." But it also means being aware. When blues singer Lead Belly used the phrase "stay woke" in a 1938 protest song about nine African Americans, the falsely accused "Scottsboro Boys," it was advice to Black Americans who wanted to avoid a similar fate.

It has, however, been, as they say, weaponized. To mean, well, excessive sensitivity, I suppose.

How much attention to injustice is too much?

Again, I wonder about motivation, the need to, for example, join a stadium full of Atlanta Braves baseball fans performing a "tomahawk chop" when many Native American organizations have objected to appropriating rituals and using people as mascots.

In Gaston County, North Carolina, protesters at a high school have told school officials they could keep the "Red Raider" nickname if they just get rid of the red-painted "Indian head" symbol. So far, not a step in that modest direction.

A White House proclamation marking November as national Native American History Month read, in part: "Even as they shouldered a disproportionate burden throughout the pandemic, Tribal Nations have been paragons of resilience, determination, and patriotism." It went on to praise Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native American to serve in a presidential Cabinet.

Where were former President Donald Trump and Melania Trump? Standing up to join Atlanta fans in "the chop."

'Own' Your Enemies

The leader of the Republican Party still sets the tone, and the tone is anything goes if it allows you to "own" your perceived enemies, and those enemies are everywhere. They could even be your colleagues.

Take Arizona GOP Rep. Paul Gosar, who faced the consequences this week for tweeting an altered anime video that showed him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and swinging two swords at the president of the United States.

The Democratic-led censure resolution that passed Wednesday read, in part, "Violence against women in politics is a global phenomenon meant to silence women and discourage them from seeking positions of authority and participating in public life, with women of color disproportionately impacted."

That may be the point for those who view Gosar as a right-wing hero and his tweet as clever and edgy. Of course, he's doubled down and most of his fellow Republicans haven't had much to say. Why would they, at a time when transgressions are praised and the Golden Rule is deemed a sucker's game.

Endesha Ida Mae Holland is the true hero. She died in 2006 as a celebrated scholar and author; she eventually had a documentary made about her. But as I sat riveted by Freedom on My Mind in a recent late-night showing on TV, it was that look on her face and her giddy smile — of someone who had been given a gift from a simple act of kindness — that stayed with me.

Sadly, it also struck me that recognizing the power of kindness — for the giver and receiver — is fading as surely as "woke" will, when another word rises to divide us.

Mary C. Curtis has worked at The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun, The Charlotte Observer, as national correspondent for Politics Daily, and is a senior facilitator with The OpEd Project. Follow her on Twitter @mcurtisnc3.

Fox Hosts To Headline GOP Fundraisers Despite Network's ‘Policy’

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Fox hosts Larry Kudlow and Tomi Lahren are scheduled to participate in Republican Party fundraisers in the coming weeks. The two network employees are doing campaign events even though Fox claims it has a policy against such practices.

Fox News said in 2018 that it "does not condone any talent participating in campaign events." Media Matters, however, has exhaustively documented how the self-described news network has inconsistently enforced that supposed policywith its personnel over the years.

Kudlow is a former Trump administration official who hosts the Fox Business program Kudlow. Lahren hosts the Fox Nation programs Final Thoughts and No Interruption. Both are also Fox News contributors.

Kudlow is scheduled to keynote the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee Lincoln Day Dinner in Connecticut on August 7. Tickets for the event, which is also set to feature former Trump administration official Linda McMahon, range from $100 to $250.

Lahren is scheduled to speak at the Sumter County Republican Party's Red White and Blue BBQ and Valor Awards in Florida on July 22. Tickets for the event, which is also set to feature toxic commentator and former Sheriff David Clarke, are $100.

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Millions Of Trump Voters Ready To Abandon GOP For His New Third Party

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Fully 81 percent of Republican voters still get warm fuzzies when they think of Donald Trump, with 54 percent feeling "strongly" about their adoration, according to a newly released Politico/Morning Consult survey taken Jan. 23-25. That whole attack Trump orchestrated on the homeland—whatevs. In fact, positive views of Trump have bounced back a handful of points since the outlet's Jan. 10-12 survey taken shortly after the Capitol riot. The survey also found that 75 percent of GOP voters disapprove of the Senate following through with an impeachment trial for Trump, with just 18 percent backing it.

So if you're wondering why 45 Senate Republicans just voiced their opposition to putting Trump on trial for his role in inciting the Capitol siege, it's because none of them have the faintest idea how to win elections without Trump — the guy who helped the GOP forfeit the White House, the House, and the Senate in just four years' time. Impressive.

On top of that, Trump's musings about forming a so-called "Patriot Party" have piqued the interest of more than a third of 2020 Trump voters (35 percent) and 30 percent of Republican voters overall. In fact, Trump's Patriot Party splits both groups of voters —Republicans and Trump voters — roughly into thirds, with a third sticking with the GOP, a third interested in joining the new party, and a third who say they aren't interested in affiliating with either party or else hold no opinion on the matter.

Trump, the great divider, is working his magic on the Republican Party and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. And no one in the Republican Party is inspired enough to chart a new course to winning more voters over to their side.

Loser Trump is all they've got.

More Republican Legislators Linked To Violent Assault On Capitol

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

The number of Republican state lawmakers identified as having either been at Wednesday's attack on the U.S. Capitol or part of the rally that led up to it continues to grow, as photographic evidence helps investigators pin down who was a part of the insurrection.

Four more GOP state lawmakers have been identified as attending either the rally that preceded the attack or the attack itself. They join 12 others who have already been outed as being part of the mayhem, along with a former state legislator.

The newly identified include:

West Virginia state Sen. Mike Azinger: Azinger posted photos to Facebook of being at the Washington Monument on Jan. 6 — the day of the attack — lauding the efforts by Trump supporters, even after knowing that the actions of the pro-Trump mob led to violence, death, and destruction.

"We're here!" Azinger wrote in a post that included photos of the Washington Monument, which has now been closed to the public due to threats of violence. "Stop the Steal, baby!"

Azinger blamed Antifa for the violence, a baseless lie.

Maryland state Del. Dan Cox: Cox is facing calls to resign after he went to the rally and tweeted that Pence is a "traitor" — at the very same time the violent mobs were marauding through the Capitol.

We've since learned that the terrorists at the Capitol were chanting that Pence should be hung, with a noose and a platform for a hanging spotted outside of the Capitol building.

Rhode Island state Rep. Justin Price: Like the other Republican state lawmakers who attended the rally or the insurrection itself, Price is also facing calls to resign after he marched to the Capitol with the pro-Trump mob.

Price claims he did not enter the Capitol, and also falsely blamed the violence on Antifa and the Black Lives Matter movement, a patently false and racist accusation.

Virginia Del. Dave LaRock: LaRock wrote on Facebook that he was at the Capitol on Wednesday but did not say whether he entered the building.

He, too, falsely blamed outside agitators for the violence, even though the violence was carried out by Trump supporters and "antifa" was not found to be part of the crowd.

So far, at least one GOP state lawmaker has been arrested for their role in the violent attack: Incoming West Virginia Del. Derrick Evans, who took a selfie video of his crimes and shouted, "Derrick Evans is in the Capitol."

The Justice Department announced it was charging Evans with "one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds."

Evans' video made it easy for law enforcement to determine that it was, indeed, Evans.

Evans "streamed live to his Facebook page a video of himself joining and encouraging a crowd unlawfully entering the U.S. Capitol," the Justice Department wrote in a news release announcing Evans' arrest.

Evans resigned on Saturday, saying "I take full responsibility for my actions, and deeply regret any hurt, pain or embarrassment I may have caused my family, friends, constituents and fellow West Virginians."

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, which seeks to get Democrats elected to state legislatures across the country, criticized GOP legislative leaders for not commenting on the number of Republican lawmakers who were part of the mayhem on Wednesday.

"There can be no unity without accountability," Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post said in a news release. "Every elected official who betrayed our democracy is unfit to represent their communities. We challenge our Republican counterparts to step up for the country they claim to love and join us in upholding the values that make this nation great. If there was any time to put country over party, it is now."

To date, at least five people died in the attack, including a Capitol Police officer.

And Trump is now likely to be impeached a second time for inciting the insurrection that led to the deaths and desecration of the Capitol.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

It’s Time For The Republican Party To Split

As Donald Trump's Republican Party descends into madness, dragged down by the president's lies, threats and possible mental illness, it's become hard to imagine democracy-loving conservatives continuing to live in the same house. They're in a marriage that can't be saved.

The framework for a new party is already up, thanks to the seasoned Republican operatives behind the never-Trump movement. They can establish a safe space for the likes of Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, among others. And their tribe will increase.

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#EndorseThis: WATCH Cruz, Graham, Giuliani Try To Escape Complicity In Riot

It didn't even take one day for Sen. Ted Cruz to walk back his inflammatory statements before the deadly Capitol riots, where MAGA terrorists stormed the seat of government. And he wasn't alone: Sen. Lindsey Graham and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, among others, suddenly tried to find weasel words that would save their damaged reputations. The Washington Post's JM Rieger created this clever mashup of incriminating video.

As usual, these craven characters are more concerned for own hides than the country, the Constitution, democracy, or even the autocrat who they have sedulously supported for years. They have no integrity and never did, but at least they're darkly comical. See for yourself.