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These 2022 Big Lie Republican Wins Could Spell Doom For 2024

In 2020 and early 2021, a handful of Republican elections officials pushed back against Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn his loss, defending the integrity of the voting process and the will of the voters. Now that Trump’s Big Lie has fully overtaken the Republican Party, the basic honesty and integrity involved in that may become a thing of the past. An analysis by National Public Radio finds that at least 15 candidates who have tried to undermine the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s 2020 win are running for secretary of state—usually a state’s top elections official, potentially putting these enemies of democracy in a position to overturn the next election.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the Republican who famously recorded a conversation in which Trump pressured him to “find 11,780 votes”—enough to hand Trump a win despite his Election Day loss—has two primary opponents who opposed certifying Biden’s election. One of them, Rep. Jody Hice, voted against certification in Congress. He has Trump’s endorsement.

In Arizona, state Rep. Mark Finchem has Trump’s endorsement for secretary of state. Finchem was on the grounds of the Capitol (but not, he says, inside) on Jan. 6, and has appeared at a QAnon conference. Another Republican running for secretary of state in Arizona has sponsored state-level legislation giving legislators the power to overturn an election.

In Michigan, Republican candidate Kristina Karamo has said of Jan. 6: “Based on the series of evidence and knowing how these situations work, how these anarchists operate, I believe this is completely Antifa posing as Trump supporters.” She, too, has Trump’s endorsement.

Other secretary of state candidates who have either rejected or at least questioned the legitimacy of Biden’s win—and therefore his presidency—are running in Wisconsin, Ohio, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Kansas, Nevada, Minnesota, Colorado, Arkansas, and California. Obviously, they have better chances in some of these states than others, but where it matters the most is in the closest states, like Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin. A secretary of state in any of those states could be in a position to alter the results of an election, whether through voter suppression, rejecting inconvenient votes, or “finding” some number—maybe 11,780—of votes where it counts.

These people scream fraud even as investigation after investigation, including ones done by their handpicked groups, says there was no meaningful amount of fraud. They are not running for the chance to oversee state elections because they want to run elections in which everyone eligible has a chance to vote and have their vote counted. The plan is to make Republicans, like Raffensperger, who may support voter suppression but draw the line at vote-counting shenanigans, a thing of the past, and replace them with people for whom adherence to Trump and his Big Lie is the only value that matters. If they can do that, Republicans won’t need mob violence to steal the next election.

Article reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Hey, Sen. Manchin! That Child Tax Credit Was Used For Food And Rent, Not Drugs

Sen. Joe Manchin reportedly doesn’t like the expanded child tax credit because parents might use the money to buy drugs. But in reality, he’s getting in the way of parents buying their kids food. That’s the primary way families have been spending the monthly checks, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

The expanded child tax credit, included in the American Rescue Plan, gives all but the highest-income families a $250-a-month payment for children aged six to 17, and $300 for children five and under. According to the Census data, 59 percent of families bought food with the money, 52 percent made utility payments, 45 percent paid the rent or the mortgage, 44 percent bought clothing, and 40 percent paid education costs. Nine out of 10 families spent money on at least one of those things. Paying down debt has been another widespread use

.

Another poll previously found that building emergency savings was a top plan for the money, while routine expenses, essential items for children, and food were runners-up.

Either way, the use of the money for food shows up in data finding a significant drop in food insecurity in households with kids—from 11 percent before the checks started going out to 8.4 percent after. And while people are unlikely to tell a pollster that they’re going to use the money on drugs, Manchin’s insistence that this was likely is a longtime right-wing trope that’s been disproven again and again. When Florida imposed drug testing for welfare benefits, so few people tested positive that the cost of the testing was higher than the number of benefits not distributed. Then-South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was caught in a false claim that half of the unemployed people were testing positive for drugs, when in fact, of the people tested, less than one percent failed.

Many families in this country are hanging on by their fingernails. They don’t have enough or good enough food, they’re behind on the rent or the mortgage, their kids are outgrowing their clothes and there’s no money for replacements. That can be just as true of families with members working at the poverty-level federal minimum wage—which Manchin worries about raising too much—or of families with members laid-off or unable to work in the still-ongoing pandemic. For these families, the child tax credit has been a lifeline. Manchin has cut off that lifeline based on a lie.

Article reprinted with permission from Daily Kos


NY Attorney General Letitia James Has Trump Running Scared

Less than two weeks after reports that New York Attorney General Letitia James was seeking to depose Donald Trump in her investigation into his business practices, Trump is suing to end her investigation. He’s doing that at least in part with lawyers paid for by the Republican National Commitee, which has spent more than $120,000 on Trump’s legal bills relating to the investigations by James and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance

.“Her mission is guided solely by political animus and a desire to harass, intimidate, and retaliate against a private citizen who she views as a political opponent,” the suit, filed Monday, claims. Where to even start?

First, Trump is the guy who really reintroduced to the United States the idea of overtly trying to criminalize your political opponents, campaigning on “Lock her up” chants and trying to use the power of the presidency to get another country to investigate the person who ultimately defeated him in 2020. It’s predictable but hilarious that he would go all woe-is-me over himself facing an investigation. And note that, unlike Trump’s ideas of how to go after his political opponents, James is doing things by the book. She’s carrying out a methodical investigation. She’s using legal means to try to get Trump to sit for a deposition, as is standard in such a matter.

Second, when it comes to an investigation into his business practices, Trump is “a private citizen.” When it comes to documents relating to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, he’s trying to assert executive privilege, essentially on the claim that he is not a private citizen. He has also leaned on the “special solicitude accorded former Presidents” in his efforts to keep the House Ways and Means Committee from getting his tax returns. (Yet another investigation, Vance’s criminal investigation into Trump’s business practices, already has his tax returns.)

It’s kind of appropriate that this is a legal version of some of the business practices James and Vance are investigating, in which Trump would give vastly different assessments of the value of his assets depending on what was most profitable for him. If he was angling for lower taxes, his buildings were worth practically nothing. If he was trying to get a loan, his buildings were the most valuable property in all of Manhattan. In one case, he told lenders a building was worth $527 million while telling tax officials the same building was worth $16.9 million. Similarly, Trump is either a private citizen or a possessor of executive privilege, depending on which lawsuit or investigation you look at.

The new lawsuit trying to force James to end her investigation sure makes it seem like Trump is sweating over it. And of course this investigation, along with Vance’s and the one by Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah, won’t just go away if Republicans retake the House.

Lawsuit Against Proud Boys And Oath Keepers Could Bankrupt Groups, Expose Funders

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Could the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers be about to follow in the footsteps of the Nazis recently hit with a $26 million verdict for their role in the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” violence? Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine is suing the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers over their roles in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, using a statute originally targeting the Ku Klux Klan.

Racine is seeking “full restitution and recompense” for the District of Columbia’s costs in treating and providing leave for hundreds of injured officers. “I think the damages are substantial,” he told The Washington Post. “If it so happens that it bankrupts or puts these individuals and entities in financial peril, so be it.”

Can’t you just hear the sorrow in his voice at the prospect?

Racine’s suit includes both Proud Boys International LLC and Oath Keepers, plus dozens of their members, most of whom are already facing federal charges for the crimes they committed on January 6. It’s not the first such lawsuit: Both Rep. Bennie Thompson—who is the chair of both the House Homeland Security Committee and the select committee investigating the attack—and a group of police officers who personally battled the insurrectionists have filed similar suits.

In addition to seeking financial damages, Racine is looking for information. “I’m particularly interested in understanding the financial apparatus of these individuals and entities and where the money came from,” he told the Post.

The lawsuit, though filed by the D.C. attorney general, comes with added legal firepower, including pro bono outside counsel from the States United Democracy Center, the Anti-Defamation League, and two law firms. It additionally draws on the voluminous Justice Department investigations and prosecutions of Oath Keepers and Proud Boys for their role in the attack on Congress.

According to the lawsuit, the defendants conspired “to prevent, interrupt, hinder, and impede, through force, intimidation, and threat ... United States officials from discharging official duties of their offices and positions of trust as part of the formal process for counting and certifying the count of electoral votes for the 2020 presidential election and declaring a winner of the 2020 presidential election.”

Dozens of Oath Keepers and Proud Boys already face criminal charges that could lead to significant prison sentences. But finding out more about the financing of the two hate groups and weakening them financially or bankrupting them is an important goal to keep them from being the foot soldiers in the next Republican coup attempt.

Anti-Vax Sen. Johnson Urges 'Standard Gargle' To Stop Coronavirus

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson has a hot new suggestion for stopping the coronavirus in its tracks, and the best thing that can be said for it is … at least he didn’t suggest bleach. No, Johnson suggested mouthwash instead.

“There are things you can do: Vitamin D, you know, zinc, keep yourself healthy, vitamin C—by the way, standard gargle, mouthwash, has been proven to kill the coronavirus,” Johnson said during a Wednesday town hall meeting, according to a recording shared on Twitter by a local radio station. “If you get it, you may reduce viral replication. Why not try all these things? It just boggles my mind that the NIH continues to tell people ‘Do nothing, you know, maybe take Tylenol.’”

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), in fact, tells people to get vaccinated, along with a long list of possible treatments. But about that mouthwash.

Johnson subsequently linked to a study of 176 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 but were asymptomatic or only mildly ill. They were given mouthwash regularly for seven days, with the study concluding that the mouthwash “appears to provide a modest benefit compared with placebo in reducing viral load in saliva.”

That’s interesting, but you know what definitely provides more than a modest benefit compared with placebo in reducing viral load in more parts of the body than just saliva? Vaccines, which Johnson has repeatedly expressed suspicion of, to the point of being suspended from YouTube for spreading disinformation.

Mouthwash? Maybe it can reduce the virus levels specifically in your saliva, but, “Even if gargling kills some of the virus, it won’t be able to clean the nasal area, nor the viruses that’s already penetrated deeper into the body,” Kim Woo-Joo, an infectious disease expert at Korea University, told The Washington Post. And no, that part about cleaning the nasal area is not a suggestion to waterboard yourself with Listerine.

On a site for health care professionals, Listerine details studies involving mouthwash, stating, “We are aware of several ongoing, independent clinical trials where LISTERINE® is being assessed in patients with COVID-19. However, the current available data is not sufficient to support a conclusion that the use of LISTERINE® mouthwash is helpful against the COVID-19 virus. As a company firmly rooted in science, we are committed to advancing research in oral and public health.” Listerine is made by Johnson & Johnson, a company which, of course, also has a vaccine—and while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is not the most effective one out there, it is far, far, far more effective than Listerine. Or vitamin D. Or zinc. Or generic wellness.

It is so very, very special that here we are, with vaccines that are very effective at preventing severe illness even if delta and omicron have reduced their effectiveness at preventing any infection at all, and a United States senator is suggesting mouthwash. Death rates in Republican-voting counties are far higher than those in counties that vote for Democrats as vaccination rates among Republicans lag, but Republican politicians like Johnson are still promoting a line that will make it more likely for their own supporters to die horrible, painful deaths. The only good thing that can be said about Johnson’s mouthwash suggestion is that mouthwash is not going to harm anyone. But it’s not going to protect them, either, so suggesting it in place of the thing that will protect them is itself harmful. Ron Johnson has already shown that he doesn’t care if he causes harm, though, so it’s no big surprise.

Former National Guard Chief Accuses General Flynn Of 'Outright Perjury' Over Capitol Riot

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

A former D.C. National Guard official blasted the Pentagon inspector general’s report on the military’s response to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and directly accused two top generals of lying about their role in the delays deploying the National Guard that day. Previously, the former commander of the D.C. National Guard—who now serves as the House sergeant-at-arms—had called for the retraction of the same inspector general’s report.

William Walker, who was the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard on January 6, and Col. Earl Matthews, who was then Walker’s top attorney, both say that the Pentagon’s claims about when Walker was cleared to deploy troops to the Capitol are flatly false. Matthews laid out his rebuttal of the inspector general’s report in a 36-page memo to the January 6 House select committee, again saying, as has been widely reported since January, that Gen. Charles Flynn and Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt, both senior Army officials, opposed a National Guard deployment in a 2:30 p.m. phone call, and calling both men “absolute and unmitigated liars” for their denials that they did so.

National Guard officials say the Defense Department’s story about that 2:30 p.m. phone call has changed repeatedly, and at one point Piatt admitted that yes, he “may have expressed concern” about a National Guard deployment to the Capitol—something that Piatt then denied in a written response to the House Oversight Committee in June. Matthews described that denial as “false and misleading,” but used stronger words for Flynn’s claim that he “never expressed a concern about the visuals, image, or public perception of” such a deployment. That, Matthews wrote, was “outright perjury.”

Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund and Washington, D.C., officials have also said that Piatt opposed a National Guard presence at the Capitol.

The 2:30 p.m. call is a key step in the hours-long delay in responding to the bloody attack on the Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump. It is incontrovertibly true that Walker did not at that point get permission to deploy the D.C. National Guard, but when he did get that permission is in dispute. According to the inspector general’s report, Walker was given permission in a 4:35 p.m. call with Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy. Walker says that call did not happen, and that he did not get permission until 5:08 p.m. You would think that if there was a phone call, the Defense Department would have records of it, but, according to The Washington Post, the inspector general’s report cites “an anonymous Army official” in its conclusion that McCarthy gave Walker the go-ahead at 4:35 p.m.

In Senate testimony earlier this year, Robert Salesses, a top Pentagon official, initially said Walker got permission at 4:32 p.m. only to walk it back: “In fairness to General Walker, too, that’s when the [acting] secretary of defense made the decision—at 4:32,” Salesses said. “As General Walker has pointed out, because I’ve seen all the timelines, he was not told that until 5:08.”

Like Walker, Matthews fiercely disputes the 4:35 p.m. claim, calling it “an outrageous assertion … as insulting as it is false,” and saying that McCarthy himself had been “incommunicado or unreachable for most of the afternoon.”

Walker and Matthews both obviously have huge incentives to point the finger outside the D.C. National Guard, just as the Defense Department has huge incentives to point the finger away from itself. But we do know that multiple people have said Flynn and Piatt had the role in the 2:30 p.m. phone call that Matthews describes, and that the Army’s accounts of that call changed in the weeks following January 6. This is definitely an issue that requires further investigation, and the select committee had better be on it.

House Democrats Seek Censure Of Gosar As GOP Leadership Remains Silent

A group of House Democrats is pushing to censure Republican Rep. Paul Gosar after he shared an animated video altered to show him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Joe Biden. Aside from expulsion, censure is the harshest penalty the House can impose on a member … and it's likely to be a point of pride for Gosar, to say nothing of a fundraising angle.

"For a Member of Congress to post a manipulated video on his social media accounts depicting himself killing Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Biden is a clear cut case for censure," the ten Democrats said in a statement. "For that Member to post such a video on his official Instagram account and use his official congressional resources in the House of Representatives to further violence against elected officials goes beyond the pale."

But the Democrats' statement also hints at why Gosar won't face any penalty he finds meaningful: Because he's just the leading edge of a Republican Party increasingly committed to violence.

"As the events of January 6th have shown, such vicious and vulgar messaging can and does foment actual violence. 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," the Democrats said. "Minority Leader McCarthy's silence is tacit approval and just as dangerous."

Gosar is defiantly unapologetic. While the video, which drew a warning from Twitter, is no longer on his Twitter or Instagram pages, he said in a statement Tuesday, "It is a symbolic cartoon. It is not real life. Congressman Gosar cannot fly. The hero of the cartoon goes after the monster, the policy monster of open borders. I will always fight to defend the rule of law, securing our borders, and the America First agenda."

The rule of law here includes representations of himself killing one of his colleagues in Congress and attacking the president of the United States, something you'd think might draw Secret Service attention.

So Democrats and a very few Republicans may or may not censure Gosar, and it will not make one bit of difference in his behavior, because the violence of today's Republican Party is not something that gives a damn about the traditional rules or the traditional punishments. Gosar may be, as his own sister said on CNN, a "sociopath," but the structures around him—the fact that, as she also said, "No one holds him accountable"—are what allow him to continue his dangerous behavior without consequences.

And the more Republicans like Gosar—or Reps. Andy Biggs and Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert and Mo Brooks—get away with constantly inciting their followers to see Democrats as the inhuman enemy and violence as a reasonable response, the more the entire Republican Party will continue to move in that direction. All the while the Justice Department under Attorney General Merrick Garland remains obsessed with not appearing to do anything that could ever be construed as partisan, like prosecuting the crimes of high-profile Republicans.

Why Do Multi-level Marketing Companies Love Kyrsten Sinema?

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has emerged as the favored candidate of multilevel marketing companies, and it's not because of her statement handbags and dresses, as easy as it would be to imagine her recruiting a group of coworkers or friendquaintances to aggressively pitch said handbags and dresses over a few glasses of red wine.
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What January 6 Rally Organizers Are Telling Congressional Investigators

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Several House Republicans—exactly the ones you would guess—were involved in planning meetings for protests on January 6 as Trump supporters tried to block the certification of the 2020 election and with it, Donald Trump's loss, two sources have detailed to Rolling Stone.
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OSHA Warns Three Red States Over Failure To Enforce COVID Safety

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an emergency regulation back in June requiring hospitals and other health care settings to enforce COVID-19 safety practices. Now, OSHA is warning three states—Arizona, South Carolina, and Utah—that if they don't adopt those rules, the federal government will take over workplace safety enforcement.

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New Kaiser Report Reveals Terrible Cost Of Vaccine Refusal

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

COVID-19 is now the second-leading cause of death in the United States, despite the availability of safe, effective, and free vaccines. The promise of those vaccines showed itself when they first became widely available and COVID-19 dropped to be seventh on the list of causes of death.
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Gym Jordan Torched On Twitter For Insanely Opposing ‘All Vaccine Mandates’

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Republicans are increasingly making opposition to COVID-19 vaccine mandates a requirement for membership in their club, but sometimes, as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) found out Tuesday night, that sets you up for a takedown.

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‘They Work’: Biden Urges Employers To Hasten Vaccine Mandates

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

President Joe Biden on Thursday pressed companies to put COVID-19 vaccination mandates into place while the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) completes a new rule requiring companies with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccination or routine testing.
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Congress Ready To Issue Criminal Referrals On Trumpsters Who Evade Jan. 6 Subpoenas

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

This week will bring two big deadlines in the face-off between the congressional committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and Team Trump. The committee appears to be coming loaded for bear.

If Trump is going to officially ask President Joe Biden to assert executive privilege over Trump-era White House records, that's going to happen this week. But the "officially ask President Joe Biden" part is important in two ways. For one thing, Trump will have to ask the guy who beat him for a favor, rather than just sending out fundraising messages to his supporters claiming that executive privilege applies.

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House Democrats Demand Answers From Cyber Ninjas On Arizona ‘Fraudit’

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

The conspiracy theory-driven "audit" of ballots in Maricopa County, Arizona, has raised a lot of questions. After all, it was only partially paid for by the Arizona state Senate, with the rest of the money coming from unknown donors. It was conducted by a company with no known experience in election audits and headed by someone who has tweeted pro-Trump conspiracy theories. And it involved questionable moves like inspecting ballots for bamboo fibers in an effort to prove a conspiracy theory about ballots being flown in from South Korea.

House Democrats are demanding answers to those questions, in a 13-page letter to Cyber Ninjas, the shady company hired by Arizona Senate Republicans to carry out the fraudit. Starting with this: The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee "is seeking to determine whether the privately funded audit conducted by your company in Arizona protects the right to vote or is instead an effort to promote baseless conspiracy theories, undermine confidence in America's elections, and reverse the result of a free and fair election for partisan gain."

As the letter makes clear, detailing Cyber Ninjas' lack of experience with elections, its "sloppy and insecure audit practices" (which were widely reported and commented on by actual election audit experts), and CEO Douglas Logan's "embrace of election conspiracy theories," Democrats expect the answer to that opening question to be that the fraudit was intended to undermine confidence in elections and perhaps reverse the result of a free and fair election for partisan gain, not to protect the right to vote.

The letter, from Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jamie Raskin—the former being the committee chair—asks Cyber Ninjas to turn over nine categories of documents. Those include documentation of any previous election audit clients Cyber Ninjas has had (again, as far as anyone knows there are no such clients), information on who paid for the Arizona effort, documents and communications that might possibly explain why Cyber Ninjas was looking for bamboo fibers and looking at ballots under UV lights, and, just to be sure they got everything, "All documents and communications related to conducting the Maricopa County audit, including but not limited to policies, procedures, audit plans, strategy, staff and personnel, and security or integrity problems that arose during the audit, and any interim or final audit findings."

Oh, and also this: "all communications involving you or any Cyber Ninjas employees, consultants, agents, volunteers, or representatives with" Donald Trump, any Trump administration official or formal or informal campaign or legal representative of Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, and others.

The Justice Department has previously expressed concern about ballots and voting machines at risk of "being lost, stolen, altered, compromised or destroyed" thanks to Cyber Ninjas' poor security practices. And as House Democrats begin their investigation—which could lead to referrals to the Justice Department—Maricopa County announced it would spend nearly $3 million to replace voting equipment compromised by the fraudit, which took the equipment out of the control of the government.

"The frustrating thing is, those were perfectly good machines which passed all of our accuracy tests from the time we first got them in 2019. The taxpayer paid good money for them, but now this equipment will have to be decommissioned because the Senate didn't take our warnings about chain-of-custody seriously," Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chair Jack Sellers said in a statement.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, by the way, is majority Republican, but has been outspokenly opposed to the fraudit, calling it a "sham," a "con," and "a spectacle that is harming all of us." Their opposition to a partisan effort to undermine faith in their county's elections led the Maricopa supervisors to be threatened with arrest by other Republicans in the state, as support for Donald Trump's lies about the election having been stolen from him has become a key loyalty test for Republicans.

The House Democrats are giving Cyber Ninjas until July 28 to turn over its documents.

Abbott Threatens Texas Lawmakers With Arrest When They Return

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Texas Democrats left the state on Monday as a last stand for voting rights, preventing the state House from having the quorum it needs for Republicans to pass a voter suppression bill, along with an attack on transgender students, during a special session of the legislature. The Democrats—at least 51 of them—said they'll stay out of Texas until the special session ends August 6. But they need Congress to act.

Gov. Greg Abbott has threatened that "As soon as they come back in the state of Texas, they will be arrested, they will be cabined inside the Texas Capitol until they get their job done." Abbott can call another special session to get the Republican legislation passed. Ultimately, Texas Republicans have the power to force just about any law through that they want, and right now, they want to make it hard for Black and brown people to vote.

"Our message to Congress," said state Rep. Chris Turner, is that "We need them to act now."

In every public statement he's made, Abbott has painted the Democrats as taking a "taxpayer-paid junket" using "cushy private planes." The Democrats, many of whom have left children behind, are pushing back on that to highlight their urgent message to Congress.

"This is not a vacation," said state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer. "This is not a junket. I don't want a single U.S. senator to go home for the August recess thinking that everything is completely fine with voting rights in America. We're here to present the case that it is not." (Pssst … Sen. Manchin, Sen. Sinema, I think he's talking to you.)

Senate Democrats including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sens. Cory Booker, Alex Padilla, and Kirsten Gillibrand are meeting with the Texans. Vice President Kamala Harris praised their "extraordinary courage and commitment."

"I do believe that fighting for the right to vote is as American as apple pie. It is so fundamental to fighting for the principles of our democracy," said Harris.

Abbott is not the only Republican to slam the Democrats for blocking a quorum. "It's not very Texan," according to Sen. John Cornyn. "You stay and you fight."

Well, they're not done fighting. They just took the fight somewhere else, rather than staying in a 100 percent unwinnable fight. As for the other senator from Texas ...

Boebert Joins Greene's Anti-Vax Campaign With Insulting 'Nazi' Smear

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Rep. Lauren Boebert appears to be getting jealous of all that sweet, sweet attention Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is getting … for comparing public health officials to Nazis.

Following President Biden's announcement of a push to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates, including by sending public health workers door to door to offer people information and the opportunity to be vaccinated, Greene proved decisively that her much-touted trip to the Holocaust Museum had been a photo opportunity, not a learning opportunity, describing public health workers as "medical brown shirts." Boebert then followed suit.

"Biden has deployed his Needle Nazis to Mesa County," she tweeted. "The people of my district are more than smart enough to make their own decisions about the experimental vaccine and don't need coercion by federal agents. Did I wake up in Communist China?"

As a description of people going door to door with information to help people make informed decisions, connections to vaccination appointments, and in some cases the offer of in-home vaccination, this is blindingly dishonest. Polling and research has found that many people aren't necessarily opposed to being vaccinated, but they do want more information or need convenience and reassurance that it won't cost them anything. This is an effort to do just that.

It should not need to be spelled out, but just in case: Offering all people public health information and free vaccination can in no way be compared to sending people to death camps because they were Jewish. That is horrific.

But it's also pretty special to have a Republican ranting about government coercion, when Republicans in state after state have passed mandatory ultrasound laws for women seeking abortions. Republicans routinely force women to have one medically unnecessary intimate medical procedure to be allowed to make their own health care decisions, so they cannot talk about "coercion" in this context.

As for the Nazi talk, this is a chance for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to show he meant it when, after Greene compared mask rules to Nazism, he said "Americans must stand together to defeat anti-Semitism and any attempt to diminish the history of the Holocaust. Let me be clear: the House Republican Conference condemns this language."

Your move, Kevin. Did you mean it? (Ha ha ha, yeah, right.)

All of this Nazi talk from the Trump uber alles crowd is also a little disconcerting in light of reports that Donald Trump repeatedly praised Adolf Hitler to the point where then-chief of staff John Kelly had to say, point blank, "You cannot ever say anything supportive of Adolf Hitler. You just can't." Trump praising Hitler plus Trump's most diehard followers constantly talking about Nazis is … a disturbing fixation to have surfacing in the Republican Party.